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rsion was otitward only^ not inward. 



ix. 17—22. 

X. 17. And Ananias went his 
y^and entered into the house ; 
1 putting his hands on him 
rj. Brother Saul, the Lord, 
^n Jesus, that appeared unto 
^e in the way as diou earnest, 
:h sent me, that thou mightest 
»eiye thy sight, avd be Jilted 
Ih the Holy Ghost. 

18. And immediately there 
1 from his eves as it had been 
lies: and he received sight 
*thwith, and arose, and was 

1 9. And when he had received 
eat, he was strengthened.Then 
IS Saul certain days with the 
^ciples which were at Damas^ 

20. And straightway he 
cached Christ in the syna- 

igues, that he is the Son of 


21. But all that heard him 
ere amazed, and said ; Is not 
is he that destroyed them 
hich called on this name in 
lirusalem, and came hither for 
lat intent, that he might bring 
lem bound unto the chief 

22. But Saul increased the 
ore in strength, and coitfound- 
l the Jews which dwelt at Da- 
tascus, proving that this is very 


As per Acts xxii. 1 2 — 1 6. 

xxii. 12. And one Ananias, a 
devout man according to the 
law, having a good report of all 
the Jews which dwelt there, 

13. Came unto me, andstood, 
and said unto me. Brother Saul, 
receive thy sight. And the same 
hour I looked up upon him. 

14. And he said. The God of 
our fathers hath chosen thee, 
that thou shouldest know his 
will, and see that Just On^ and 
shouldest hear the voice of his 

15. For thou shalt be his wit- 
ness unto all men of what thou 
hast seen and heard. 

16. And now why tarriest 
thou? arise, and be baptixedj 
and wash away thy sins, calling 
on the name of the Lord. 





lXk.-9-J^ , 




Price 1 2s. ^^ 

I- I B ii A 11 Y 





Illustrious, in the church of Jesus in general, and 
in the church of England in particular, is the name of 
CoNYEKS MiDOLETONf. Signal was, and is, the 
service rendered by him to the religion of Jesus. By 
that bold, though reverend, hand, it nofv stands clear- 
ed of many a heap of pernicious rubbish, with which 
it had been incumbered and defiled, by the unhallow- 
ed labours of a succession of writers, who,— without 
personal intercourse with the founder, any more than 
we have now, — have, from the mere circumstance of 
the comparative vicinity of their days to those in which 
he lived, derived the exclusive possession of the im- 
posing title of Fathers of the Churchy or, in one 
word, TTie Fathers. 

So able, so effectual, has been this clearance, that, 

* This Introduction \b, in the maih^ a reprint from the single 
sheet pamphlet, published A° 1821. under the title of Summary 
View, &c.$ but with some defalcations, additions, and alterations. 

t The Reverend Dr. Conyers Middleton, A^ 1721, principal 
librarian of the University of Cambridge ; afterwards possessor of 
an ecclesiastical benefice in the county of Surry, (Bicgraplm Bri- 
taaaka, Mu>plbton), in his work intituled, "A Free Enquiry 
into the Miraculous Powers, supposed to have subsisted in the 
Christian Chui^ from Ihe eariiest Ages," te. 



as it has been observed by the Edinburgh Reviewers*, 
— speaking of course of protestants, and more particu- 
larly of English protestants, — till one unexpected ex- 
ception, which it mentions, had presented itself, they 
had thought that in no man^s opinion were those 
writers any ** longer to be regarded as guides, either 
in faith or morals.** 

One step further was still wanting. One thorn still 
remained, to be plucked out of the side of this so much 
injured religion, — and that was, the addition made to 
it by Saul of Tarsns : by that Saul^ who, under the 
name of Paul^ has — (as will be seen) without war- 
rant from, and even in the teeth of, the history of 
Jesus, as delivered by his companions and biographers 
the four evangelists, — been dignified with the title of 
his apostle: his apostle^^ that is to say, his emis- 
sary \: his emissary y that is to say, sent out by him: 
sent out, by that Jesus, whose immediate disciples he 
so long persecuted and destroyed, and whose person, 
— unless dreaming of a person after his death, or pro- 
fessing to have dreamt of him, is seeing him,— he 
never saw. 

In the course of the ensuing examination^ the sub- 
ject of miracles has come^ unavoidably, under consi- 
deration. On this delicate ground, it has been mat- 

* A0 1814, No.47,p. 58. 

t Apoitle, a modification of the Greek word ApostoUu (Av'o- 
croXos) : a person tent out, 

X Emi$9ary, from the Latin word emianu-^sent cut. 


ter of no small comfort to the author, to behold pre- 
cursors, among divines of different persuasions, whose 
reputation for piety has not been diminished by the 
spirit of critical inquiry which accompanies it. Such 
were Mede*, Sykesf, and others, whose ingenious 
labours were, in the case called that of the (kemoniacs, 
employed in the endeavour to remove the supernatural 
character, from what, in their eyes, was no more 
than a natural appearance. On the success of these 
their labours, any judgment would here be irrelevant. 
Not altogether so the observation, that in no instance 
does it appear to him that any such latitude of inter- 
pretation has been employed, as that which, on that 
occasion, was found necessary for the conversion of 
(ievils into diseases. 

The dissentions which, at all times, have had place 
among persons professing the religion of Jesus, are 
but too notorious. The mischiefs, produced by these 
dissentions, are no less so. These dissentions, and 
these mischiefs — in what have they had their source ? 
In certain words. These words, of whom have they 
been the words ? Of Jesus ? No : this has not been 
so much as pretended. Of Paul^ and of Paul alone: 
he giving them all along not as the words of Jesus, 
but as his own only : — he all along preaching (as will 

* The Rev. Jos. Mede> and the Rev. Dr. Sykes^ divines of the 
church of England. 

t The Rev. Dr. Lardner, and the Rev. H. Farmer; presbyicr an 
dissenting divines. 


be seen) in declared opposition to the eleven who were 
undisputedly the apostles of Jesus : thus, of Paul only 

• have they been the words. 

That, by these words, and, consequently, by him 

1 whose words they were and are, all the mischiefs, 
which have been imputed to the religion of Jesus, 
have been produced, — in so far as the dissentions, 
from which these mischiefs flowed, have had these 
words for their subjects,— cannot be denied. But, 
moreover, in these same words, that is to say, in the 
doctrines delivered by them, cannot but be to be found 
the origin, and the cause, of no small part — perhaps 
of the greatest part — of the opposition^ which that re- 
ligion, with its benevolent system of morals, has 
hitherto experienced. If this be so, then, by the clear- 
ing it of this incumbrance, not only as yet unexam- 
pled purity, but additional extent, may not unreason- 
ably be expected to be given to it. 

It was by the frequent recurrence of these observa- 
tions, that the author of these pages was led to the 
inquiry, whether the religion of Paul,— *as contained 
in the writings ascribed to Paul, and with a degree of 
propriety which the author sees no reason to dispute, 
—whether the religion of Paul has any just title to be 
considered as forming a part of the religion of Jesus« 
The result was in the negative. The considerations, 
by which this result was produced, will form the mat- 
ter of the ensuing pages. 

If, by cutting off a source of useless privations and 
groundless terrors, comfort and inward peace should 


be restored or secured; — if> by cutting off a source oi 
bitter animosity, — ^good^will, and peace from wiiAoui, 
should be restored or secured ; — if, by the removal of 
an incongruous appendage, acceptance should be ob- 
tained for what is good in the religion commonly 
ascribed to Jesus;— -obtained at the hands of any man, 
much more of many, to whom at present it is an ob- 
ject of aversion ; — if, in any one of these several ways, 
much more if in all of them, the labours of the author 
should be crowned with success,— -good service will, so 
far, and on all hands, be allowed to have been render- 
ed to mankind. 

Wl)osoever, putting aside all prepossessions, feela 
strong enough in mind, to look steadily at the ori- 
ginals^ and from them to take his conceptions of the 
matter, not from the discourses of others, — whosoever 
has this command over himself, will recognise, if the 
author does not much deceive himself, that by the«two 
persons in question, as represented in the two sources 
of information — the Gospels and Paurs Epistles,-— 
two quite different, if not opposite, religions are incul- 
cated: and that, in the religion of Jesus may be found 
all the good that has ever been the result of the 
compound so incongruously and unhappily made, — 
in the religion of Paul, all the mischief, which, in 
such disastrous abundance, has so indisputably flowed 
from it. 

1 . That Paul had no such commission as he pro- 
fessed to have; — 2. that his enterprize was a scheme of 
personal ambition, and nothing more ; — 3. that his 


system of doctrine is fraught with mischief in a variety 
of shapes, and, in so far as it departsJrom, or adds to, 
those of Jesus, with good in none ; — and that it has 
no warrant, in any thing that, as far as appears from 
any of the four gospels, was ever said or done by Je- 
sus; — such are the conclusions, which the author of 
these pages has found himself compelled to deduce, 
from those materials with which history has furnished 
us. The grounds of these conclusions he proceeds to 
submit to the consideration of his readers. 


1h£ work may be conceived as divided into five 

1. In Part the first, the five* different, and in many 
respects discordant, accounts given of Paul's conver- 
sion, which, in these accounts, is of course represent- 
ed as being not only outward but inward^ are con- 
fronted, and, so far as regards inward conversion, 
shown to be, all of them, untrue: and, immediately 
after, the state of things, which produced, accompa- 
nied, and immediately followed, his outward conver- 
sion, — together with the timcT^and manner in which 
that change was declared, — is brought to view. This 
part occupies the first two chapters. 

2. Part the Second is employed in showing, — that, 
from the first commencement, of the intercourse, which, 
upon the tokens given of his outward conversion, took 
place at Jerusalem between him and the apostles f, to 
the time when, — in consequence of the interposition of 
the Roman commander, to save him from the una- 
nimous indignation of the whole people, more particu- 
larly of the disciples of the apostles, — he was conveyed 

^ ^ In the hope of affording some satisfaction to the reader, 
these references are here inserted. The author is indebted for 
them to a friend ; but, not having himself examined them, 
he is not to be regarded as personally responsible for them, 
in respect of appositeness, correctness, or completeness. 
* 1. Acts ix. ver. 1 to 18. 2. Acts xxu. ver. 3 to 16. 

3. Acts xxvi. ver. 9 lo 20. 4. Gal. i. ver. 1 1 to 17. 5. 1 Cor. 

XV. 8. But now as to this, see Table I. t Acts ix. 27. 


from thence under guard to Rome, (a space, according 
to the commonly received computation^ not less than 
six-and-twenty years*",) no supernatural commission 
from Jesus, nor any in ward conversion, was, — either by 
those distinguished servants and companions of Jesus, 
or by their disciples at Jerusalem, — believed to have 
place in his instance. This part occupies eight chap- 
ters : to wit, from the 3d to the 1 0th inclusive, 

3. In Part the Third, in further proof of the insin- 
cerity of his character, — in addition to an oath proved 
to be false, are brought to view two unquestionably 
false assertions :— each having for its subject a matter 
of prime importance,— ^ach deliberate, and having in 
view a particular purpose : the one, a false account of 
the number of the witnesses to the resurrection of 
Jesus t f the other, a prediction of the end of the 
world before the death of persons then living;}:. This 

' part occupies chapters 1 1 and 1 2. 

4. Rirt the Fourth is employed in showing, — ^that 
no proof, of. his alleged supernatural commission 
from the Almighty^ is deducible, from any account 
we have, of any of those scenes, in which he is com- 
monly regarded as having exerciseda power of work- 
ing miracles. For, that not only he himself never 
made exercise of any such poA-er,- — on any of those oc- 
casions, on which the demand for it, for the purpose 
of overcoming the disbelief entertained of his story by 
the Apostles, was extreme, — but, neither on those, nor 
any other occasions, did he ever take* upon himself to 
make reference, to so much as any one instance of any 
such proof of special authority from the Almighty, as 
having been exhibited by him on any other occasion: 
that, for the belief in any such gift, we have no other 
ground, than the relations contained in the history 

* Acts xxi. xxiii t 1 Cor. xv. 6. 

X 1 Thess. iv.l5, 16, 17. 


called ^* 7%e Acts of the Apostles,'* or, for shortness. 
The Acts: and that such throughout is, — on the one 
hand, the nature of the occurrence itself, on the other 
hand, the character of the representation given of it, 
—that, to a disbelief in the exercise of any such su- 
pernatural power, it is not necessary that any such 
imputation as that of downright and wilful falsehood 
should' be cast upon the author of that narrative : the 
occurrences in question being, mostly, if not entirely, 
such as lie within the ordinary course of nature, — but, 
upon which, either by the fancy, or by the artifice of 
the narrator, a sort of supernatural colouring has been 
superinduced. For this purpose, these supposed mi- 
racles are, each of them, separately brought to view 
and examined* lliis part occupies the 1 3th chapter. 

5. Part the Fifth is employed in showing, that,— 
even if, on all these several occasions, the exercise of 
a power of producing supernatural effects had, by un- 
equivocal statements, been ascribed to Paul by the 
author of the Acts, — such testimony, independently 
of the virtual contradiction given to it by the above- 
mentioned circumstantial evidence,— could not, with 
any propriety, be regarded as affording adequate proof 
—either of the fact of Paul's having received a divine 
commission, and thereby, having become, inwardly 
as well as outwardly, a convert to the religion of 
Jesus— either of that radical fact, or so much as of 
any one of the alleged achievements, which, upon the 
face of the accounts in question, are wont to present 
themselves as miraculous : for that^ in the first place, \^ 
it is only by error that the history in question has been > 
ascribed to Saint Luke : it being, in respect of the - 
account given of the circumstances accompanying the 
ascension of Jesus, inconsistent with the account given 
in the gospel of Saint Luke*, — and as to those attend- 

* Luke xxiv. compared with Acts i. 3 to 12. 


ant on the death of Judas, inconsistent with the ac- 
count in Saint Matthew * : and moreover, such being 
the whole complexion of his narrative, as to render it 
incapable of giving any tolerably adequate support to 
any statement whereby the exercise of supernatural 
power is asserted. This part occupies Chapter 14. 

In Part the Sixth, to give additional correctness and 
completeness, to the conception supposed to be con- 
veyed, of the character of Paul and his attendant histo- 
riographer, jointly and severally considered^ — a con- 
junct view is given of five reports of his five trials, as 
reported in the Acts. This part has been added since 
the publication of the above-mentioned Summary 
View. It occupies Chapter 15 of the present work. 

Chapter XVI. and last, winds up the whole, with 
some general observations on the self-declared oppo- 
siteness of Paul's Gospel, as he calls it, to that of the 
Apostles : together with an indication of a real Anti- 
christ, in compensation for the fabulous one, created 
by Paul, and nursed by the episcopal authors and 
editors of the Church of England, translators of the 
Bible: and by Chapter 12 of the present work, the 
imaginary Antichrist is, it is hoped, strangled. 

At the time of the publication of the Summary 
View, — for the more complete and satisfactory demon- 
stration of the relative insufficiency of the narrative in 
question, a short but critical sketch was, as herein 
stated, intended to be given, of the parts not before 
noticed of the History^ the Churchy — from the ascen- 
sion of Jesus, being the period at which that narrative 
commences, to that at which it terminates, — to wit, 
about two years after the arrival of Paul at Rome f : 
the history — to wit, as deducible from the materials 

* Matt, xxvii. 3 to 10$ and Acts i. 16 to 20. 
t Acts xxviii. 


which, in that same narrative, are brought to view : 
the duration of the period being, according to com- 
monly received computations, about 28 or 30 years* : 
the author of •* The Acts^ himself, — ^if he is to be be- 
lieved, — an eye-witness, during a considerable portion 
of the time, to the several occurrences which he re- 

On this occasion, and for this purpose, — the history 
in question had been sifted, in the same manner and 
on the sameprinciples, as any profane history, in which, 
in a series of occurrences mostly natural, a few, wear- 
ing a supernatural appearance, are, here and there. 

* To prevent^ if possible^ an embarrassment^ which might other- 
wise be liable to have place on the part of the reader^ — and there- 
with, the idea of inconsistency, as having place here and there in 
the work, — the following indication may be found to have its use. 

A cloud of uncertainty, to the length of one or two years, 
hangs over the duration of the period embraced by this work : 
namely, that between the point of time at which the conversion of 
Paul is stated to have taken place, and the point of time at which 
the history, intituled The Acts of Che Apostles, as therein declared, 
concludes : — a point of time, posterior by two years to that of his 
arrival at Rome. The chronology herein followed,— down to the time 
at which. A® 1 82 J, the above-mentioned Summary View was pub- 
lished, — ^was that indicated in the heading to theSvo edition of the 
Bible, commonly called Scholey*8 Bible, as being printed for the 
bookseller of that name : that being the Bible which, from that 
time, the author of the present work was in use to consult. Since 
then, on turning to Dr. Blair*s Chronological Tables, the above dif- 
ference, in regard to time, has been observed. In Scholey*s Bible, 
the conversion of Paul is headed by two different years, namely, 
34 and 35 : in Blair*s Tables, it is placed in the year 36 : both, 
however, agree, in placing in the year 62 the arrival of Paul in 
Rome. Of the notes to Scholey's, the author or compiler was, as 
every page testifies, a churcb-of-£nglandist : Blair, it is presumed, 
a church-of-Scotlandist. But, on the one hand, with relation to 
the design of the present work, no difference is created by the 
difference between the lengths of the two periods: on the other 
hand, neither does the chronological difference appear io have had 
its root in any theological difference between the doctrines of the 
two churches. 


interspersed : as, for instance, in Livy* s, and even in 
Taeitus*s Roman History : on the one hand, the au- 
thority not being regarded as affording a sufficient 
foundation, for a belief in the supernatural parts of the 
narrative ; nor, on the other hand, the sort of coun- 
tenance, given 10 the supernatural parts, as affording a 
sufficient reason, for the disbelief of those, which have 
nothing in them that is unconformable to the uni^^er- 
sally experienced course of nature. 

On further consideration, — in regard to this part of 
the original work, the determination has been taken, 
to reserve it for another time, or another hand. Of 
the matter, which, on the present occasion, is offered 
to the public, — it will scarcely be said, that it does not 
of itself bear the character of a whole. Since the pub- 
lication of the above-mentioned Summary Vietv^ 
nearer three than two years have already elapsed. In 
behalf of the original intention, of making the addition 
now omitted, — ^upon recollection, no other cause has 
been found, than the sort of vis inertia:^ which was 
the result of the impulse given by the main design. 
Of the present volume, as it stands, — the bulk will, it 
is not doubted^ be generally regarded as quite suffi- 
cient : and, in so far as a feeling of this sort has place, 
any addition, made to the volume of the work by the 
author, would have been an unprofitable load, upon 
the patience as well as the pocket of the reader. 

In the form of nn AppendLvj and not in the body of 
the work, — was likewise intended for insertion a quan- 
tity of matter, the object of which was — to show, that, 
for engaging Paul in the occupation, in which he em- 
ployed himself with such illustrious success, induce- 
ments of a purely temporal nature were not wanting : 
inducements, such as,-*-without a grain of belief in 
the religion of Jesus, or in any other religion,— were, 
in their nature and magnitude, perfectly adequate to 
the production of all the known and visible effects. 


which, by the several documents that relate to him, 
are represented as produced : and, in particular, in 
bis own epistles, of which, unless in one not very ma- 
terial instance, the genuineness seems to stand hitherto 
clear of dispute, — and, in truth, by their own internal 
character, to be placed altogether above dispute. In 
proportion as these inducements are duly considered, — 
it will (it 19 believed) be understood, that, — for a mi- 
nute portion of the temporal enjoyments, not only 
nought but. actually obtained by him,— a large propor- 
tion of the inhabitants of every civilissed country, — 
and, in particular, the whole class of men engaged by 
sea or land in military service,— ^levote themselves for 
life, to occupations, by which they are exposed to 
dangers, and, at all events, subjected to sufferings, far 
exceeding any which he appears to have in realUy ever 

To thoje, if any such there should be, in whos« 
eyes, — after the view thus given of the conduct of this 
self-styled apostle, — the natureof the flfe^e?^, by which, 
in the character of motives^ it was produced, can be 
matter of doubt, or a subject of curiosity, — the evi- 
dence, capable of being afforded under this head, — 
all of it extracted from his own writings, — would af- 
ford ample information: nothing*^ more being requi« 
site for this purpose, than the bringing together his 
own addresses, made to various sets of persons, on 
various occasions, — and, for the purpose of showing 
in what different ways they bear upon their common 
object, the arranging them under heads. 

lUs labour had likewise been gone through : but, 
by the considerations already stated, the result of it 
has, for the present at least, been consigned to the 
same fate as the work just mentioned as having been 
discarded. Meantime, the heads under which this 
mass of matter had been arranged,bei ng already be- 


fore the public, namely, in the so-often-mentioned 
Sunvmary yiew, — and the space occupied by them 
not being considerable, — they will, for the satisfaction 
of the reader of the present work, be found added in 
an Appendix. 

In respect of doctrine^ the conclusion is — that no 
point of doctrine, which has no other authority than 
that of Paul's writings for its support, can justly be 
regarded as belonging to the religion of Jesus, — any 
more than if, at this time of day, it were broached 
by any man now living : that thus, in so far as he is 
seen to have added any thing to the religion of Jesus, 
he is seen to set himself above it and against it : 
that, therefore, if this be true, it rests with every 
professor of the religion of Jesus, to settle with him- 
self, to which of the two religions, that of Jesus and 
that of Paul, he will adhere : and, accordingly, either 
to say, Not Jestis but Pauly—ox^ in the words of the 
title to this work, Not Paul but J^esus^. 

* For making the requisite separation, between the two reli- 
gions of Jesus and the religion of Paul, — an instrument, alike com- 
modious and unexceptionable, has — ^for these many years, though, 
assuredly, not with any such view, — been presented to all hands, 
by Doctor GastreU, an English and Church of England Bishop : 
namely, in a well-known work, intituled The Christian Institutei: 
date oHhe 14th Edition, 1808. It is composed of a collection of 
points of faith and morality, and under each are quoted the several 
texts, in the New Testament, which are regarded by the author as af- 
fording grounds for the positions indicated. If then^^ any where, in 
his composition of the ground, passages, one or more, from this 
or that Epistle of Paul, are employed^ — unaccompanied with any 
passage, extracted from any one of the four Gospels, — the reader 
may, without much danger of error, venture to conclude, that it 
is to the religion of Paul alone, that the point of doctrine thus sup- 
ported appertains, and not to the religion of Jesus. As to any of 
the Epistles, which bear the name of any of the real Apostles of 
Jesus, — a corresponding question may perhaps be here suggesting 
itself. But, with regard to the design of the present work, scarcely 
will they be found relevant. For, when compared with the sayings 


of Jesw at npaited m the four Goipds^ acarcdy will tiiey be 
found exhibiting any additional points of doctrine : never, prq^naat 
with any of thMe uasenUons^ which, from the writings of Pttol, 
have issued m such disastrous abundance. Only lest they should 
be thought to have been oveilooked, is any mention here made, of 
those documents, which, how much soever on other accounts en- 
titled to renurd, mav, with reference to the queeUon between the 
relifpon of Jesus ana the religion of Pm»I, be, as above, and with* 
out impropriety, stated as irrelevant 



Paur« Conversion. Improbability and Discordancy of the 
Accounts of it- - - - - - -1 

§. 1. Listof these Accounts^ with preliminary Observations. 

Table in which they are confronted - - - - ib. 
§. 2. Vision I. Dialogue on the road : Paul hears a voioe^ 

sees nothing .......g 

§. 3. Vision II. Ananias*s - 20 

(. 4. Ananias : his Visit to Paul at Damascus - - - 29 
§. 5. Vision III. Paul's anterior Vision, aa reported by the 

Lord to Ananias. Acts ix. 12 - - • - 50 

§. 6. Visions, why two or three, instead of one ? - - 55 
§. 7. Commission to Paul by Jerusalem Rulers — Commission 

to bring in Bonds Damascus Christians — Paul's Contempt 

put upon it --------57 

§• 8. Companions — ^had Paul any upon the road ? - - 61 
§. 9. In PauVs Epistle to his Galatians, — ^by his silence. Jets 

Accounts of his Converuon are virtually contradicted - 64 


Outward Conversion — how produced^how planned - 69 

§. 1. Motive, Temporal Advantage— Plan - - - ib. 

§. 2. At Damascus, no such Ananias probably " - "76 

§• 3. On Damascus Journey — Companions none - - 79 

§. 4. Flight from Damascus : Causes — ^false— true - -80 

§. 5. Arabia Visit — mentioned by Paul, not Jets - - 85 

§. 6. Gamaliel^had he part in Paul's plan ? - - - 87 




Paul disbelieved. — Neither his divine Commission nor 
his inward Conversion ever credited by the Apostles 
or their Jerusalem Disciples. — Source of Proof stated 89 

§. 1. To Paul's Conversion Vision, sole original Witness 
himself ------- --ib. 

§. 2. Counter- Witnesses, the Apostles : by them, the Story 

probably not heard — certainly not credited - - 90 

§.3. In proof, so much of the Acts histqjy must here be an- 
ticipated --------91 

§. 4. Topics under his several Jerusalem Visits : viz, I. Re- 
conciliation Visit 92 

§. 5. Topics under Visit II. — Money-bringing Visit - - 104 
§. 6. Remarks on Viiiit HI.— Deputation Visit - - - 105 
J. 7. Topics under Visit iV.— Invasion Visit - - - 107 
§. 8. Seif-wntten Biography — its superior Value and Claim 
to Credence 110 


Paul disbelieved continued. First of his four Visits to 
Jerusalem after his Conversion — ^say Jerusalem Visit L 
or Reconciliation Visit. — Barnabas introducing him 
from Antioch to the Apostles - - - * 1 12 

§.1. Paul's Proceedings between his Conversion and this 
Visit. — Contiadiction. Per Paul, it was not till after three 
Years spent in Arabia 3 per Acts, immediately - - ib. 
§. 2. Grounds of Paul's Prospect of Reconciliation on this 
- Occasion vrith the Apostles and their Disciples - - 122 
§. 3. Occasion of this Visit, as per PauVs own Account • 128 
§. 4. Occasion, as per Acts Account compared with Paul's - 130 
§. 5. Cause of the Dbcordance between the two Accounts - 137 
§. 6. Length of this Visit — PauVs Employment during it - 142 
§..7. Mode and Cause of its Termination - - - 145 




Paul disbelieved continued. Jerusalem Visit IL Mo- 

ney-hringing Visit, — Barnabas accompanying him 
from Antioch - - - - - - -151 

§. 1. At Antioch, Agnbus having predicted a Dearth, Money 
is collected for the Jerusalem Saints - - - ib. 

§. 2. Barnabas and Paul dispatched with the Money to Jeru- 
salem -------.- 155 


Paw/ d/5ie/iei;6 J continued, — Jerusalem Visit III. De- 
putation Visit, — Paul and Barnabas delegated by 
Antioch Saints, to confer on the Necessity of Jewish 
Rites to Heathen Converts to the Religion of Jesus - 158 

§. 1 . Occasion of this Visit ----- ib. 
§. 2. The Delegates how received. — Council of Apostles and 

Elders 162 

§. 3. Debates — Course carried by James against Peter - 166 
§.4. Result, supposed Apostolic Decree and Letter to Jnti" 

och, which, per ^c/5, Paul circulates - - - 170 


Paul disbelieved Qowlxnxk^A. After his third Jerusalem 
Visit, Contest between him and Peter at Antioch. 
Partition Treaty: Paul for himself: Peter ^ James 
and John for the Apostles - - - - - 174 

§.1. Contest and Partithn-Treaty, as per /lets smd PauVs 
Epistles -----..- ib. 

§. 2. Partition -Treaty — Probability, given by the Jinancial Sti- 
pulalion, to Paul's Account of it - . - - 183 

§.3 Thne. of the Partition -Treaty, most probably that of 
yisit I. ^ - ' - - - - . " - -187 




Interview the Fourth.^^Peter at Antioch. — Deputies to 
Antioch from Jerusalem, Judas and St^oi.-^Paul dis- 
agrees with Peier and Barnabas, quits Antioch| and . 
on a Missionary Excursion takes with him Silas. 
What concerns the Partition Treaty, down to this 
Period j reviewed. — Peter and the Apostles justified 194 

§. 1. PauVs Account of this Interview quoted. — Acts Ac- 
count of what followed upon it - - - • ib. 

§. 2. Paul disagrees with Peter and Bamahas; quits Antioch^ 
taking 5i2cu from the Apostles 196 

§. 3. The Partition Treaty, and the proceedings in relation to 
it, down to this Period, reviewed » - - - 1 99 

§. 4. Peter and the Apostles justified, as to the Jinancial SH- 
putation in the Treaty, and the succeeding Missionary La- 
bours of Peter among the Gentiles • - - - 201 

Paul disbelieved continued. — Jerusalem Visit IV. nnd 
last. Invoiion Fisit. The Purpose concealed : Oppo- 
sition universal ; among his own Disciples, and among 
those of the Apostles 210 

§. 1 . Motives to this Visit ib. 

§. 2. The Visit announced by Paul and deferred - -211 

§. 3. The design indefensible 216 

§. 4. Oppsition made to -it by his own attendants and other 

adherents - „ 218 

§. 5. Opposition made to it by the Apostles and their disciples 220 
§. 6. Flan of the Apostles for ridding themselves of Paul - 226 


Paul disbelieved continued. — Jerusalem Fisit IV. con- 
tinued. His Arrival and Reception. Accused by all 


the Disciples of the Apostles, he commences an ea> 

culpatory Oath in the Temple. Dragged out by them 

— rescued by a Roman Commander— sent in Custody 

to Rome - - - -.- - -232 

§. 1. At Jerusalem^ Paul is received by the Elden and Jama; 

hai hf no other j^hMc ..-•-- ib. 
§. 2. Low Tone assumed by him on this Occasion - « 235 
§« 3. Posterior to fdl bis supposed Miracles, his Silence proves 

them unreal 238 

§. 4. Accused by the Disciples, he commences, at the Re- 
commendation of the Apostles, an exculpatory Oath in the 

Temple - - - 242 

§. 5. The Design of this Recommendation justified - -251 
§. 6. Dragged out of the Temple by Jewi or Ckrutkms, he is 
saved by a Roman Commander - - . . . 252 


Foul disbelieved continued. — Paul's fourth Jerusalem 
Visit continued. Perjurious was the Purpose of the 
exculpatory Ceremony commenced in the Temple - 254 

§. 1 . General Proof of the Perjury from the Acts - • ib. 

§. 2. Proof from the Epistles ... - - - 272 


-More Falsehoods. — Resurrection-Witnesses multiplied.—* 
World's End predicted. — To save cr^t^ Antichrist 
invented -- - - - - - - 277 

§. 1. ResurrecUon-Witnesses multiplied .... 277 

§. 2. False Prophecy, that the World would end in the Life- 
time of Persons then living . . • . . 232 
§. 3. Disorder and Mischief produced by this Prediction - 287 
§. 4. Paul's Remedy for the Disorder, and Salvo for himself. 
Jntkhriit must first come . . . • « 290 



Poults 8upposable Miracles explained - • . 298 

§. 1. Objections^ applying to them in the Aggregate - ifau 

|. 2. Supposable Mivacle I. Elymas the Sorcerer blinded.—* 

AcU xiii. 6—12 30S 

|. 3. Supposable Miracle II. — ^At Lystra, Cripple cured.^ 

AcUxW.B^ll 304 

§. 4. Supposable Miracle III. — ^Divineress silenced. — JcUxyL . 

16—18 - - -30$ 

§.5. Supposable Miracle IV, — ^At Philippic an Earthquake : 

Paul imd Silas freed from Prison^ A^ 53 - - - 308 

§. 6. Supposable Miracle V. — ^At Corinth^ Paul comloited by 

the Lord in an unteen \^]on^ A* 54, — AcU xviiL 7 — 1 1 « 312 
§. 7. Supposable Miracle VI. — ^At Ephesus^ Diseases and De- 
vils expelled by foul Handkerchief. — Acts xix. 1 — 12 • 313 
§. 8. Supposable Miracle VII. — ^At Ephesus^ Exorcist ScKvas 

bedeviled.— ^c<« xix. 13— 20 317 

|. 9. Supposable Miracle VIII. — Magical Books burnt by the 

Owners— ^etexix. 19,20 322 

(. 10. Supposable Miracle IX.— At TVoas^ Eutychus firand 

not to be dead.— ^tt xx. 7—12 . . - • 325 

§.11. Supposable Miracle X. — On Shipboard^ Paul comfiut- 

ed by an Angel. — Acts xxvii. 20 — 25 - • . 327 

§. 12. Supposable Miracle XI.»-At Malta^ a Reptile shaken 

off by Paul without hurt.— ^cto i^xviiL 1—6 - - 328 

§. 13. Supposable Miracle XII.— At Malta^ Deputy Pubiius's 

Father cured. — Acts xxviii. 7>8 - - - -331 

§. 14. Conclusion : the Supposable Miracles dassed and 

summed up-------- 334 


Acts^ Part false^ Part true : Author not Saint Luke - 338 

f. 1. By the false Parts^ the Gospel not affected: most Parts 
true 338 


§. 2. Time between Resurrection and Asceniion — Acta con- 
tradicts Luke 339 

§.3. As to Ascension, Acts inconsistent with Luke - 344 


Law Report. — Jews versus Paul: Trials five, with Obser. 
vations - 347 

§. 1. Introduction ib. 

§. 2. Trial L Place^ Jerusalem-Temple. — Judicatory, the 

mixed Multitude. — Jets xxii. I — 21 .... 348 
§ 3. Trial II. Judicatory, Jerusalem Council-Board. Acts 

xxiii. 1—10 350 

§. 4. Trial III. Place, CfBMrea.—Acti xxiv. 1— -23 - - 353 
§.5. Trial IV. Place, again, Cssarea.— ilc/« xxv. 1—12 - 357 
§. 6. Trial V. and last.— Place, still Cssarea - - - 359 


Paul's Doctrines Anti-Apostolic.— Was he not Antichrist? 366 
§. 1 . Paul's Doctrine was at variance witli that of the Apostles 366 
§. 2. Of Conformity, use made of the Name of Jesus no Proof 368 
§.3. Paul, was he not Antichrist? - - - -371 

Appendix 3/5 



PauTs Conversion}. — ImprobabiHiy and Discordancy 
of the Accoumts of it. 



{Ste Tabue I., mwhkhthmf art eonfirotUed,) 

In one single work, and that alone, is comprised the 
whole of the information, in which, in relation to this 
momentous occurrence, any particulars are at this time 
oi day to be found. This is that historical work, which 

' Of the word convenion, as employed everywhere and in all 
times in speaking of Paul» commonly called Saint Paul^ the import 
has been found involved in such a cloud, as, on pain of peipetual 
misconception, it has bq^n found necessary, here at the outset^ to 
clear away. That, from being an ardent ana destructive persecutor 
of the disciples of the departed Jesus, he became their collaborator, 
and in that sense their ally, — preaching, in speech, and by writing, 
a religion imder the name of the religion of Jesus, assuming even 
the appellation of an Apostle of Jesus, — Apostle, that is to say, 
special en?oy — (that being the title l^ which the twelve most con- 
fidential servants of Jesus stood distmguished), is altogether out 
of dispute. That in this sense he became a convert to the religion 
of Jesus, and that in this sense his alle^ conversion was real, 
is accordingly in this work not only admitted, but affirmed. Few 
points of ancient history seem more satisfactorily attested. In this 
sense then he was converted beyond dispute. Call this then his 
outward conversion j and say, Paul's outward conversion is indubi- 
table. But, that this conversion had for its cause, or consequence, 
any supernatural intercourse with the Almighty, or any belief in 
the supernatural character of Jesus himself 3 this is the positk>tt, 


2 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable, ^c. 

in our edition of the Bible, has for its title The Acts 
oftheApoSiki; for shDTtness, let us say TheAtiB. 

Of this same occurrence, in this one short work no 
fewer than three separate accounts are visible ; one, 
in which the story is related fay ^he historian in his own 
person ; two others, in each of which Paul is intro- 
duced as giving his own .account of it. Of these three 
accounts, no two will be found agreeing with each 
other. By the historian, P^al when introduced as 
speaking in his own person, is represented as contra- 
dicting not only the historian's account, but his own 
account. On each occasion, it should seem, PauFs 
account is adapted to the occasion. On the first oc- 
casion, the historian's account was not exaictly adapt- 
ed to that same first occasion. By the historian's in- 
genuity, Pahll is accordingly represented as giving on 
thbtteHieoecasion anoltherand better-adapted account. 
On the second occasion, neither was the historian's 
accoorit nor Paul's own account^as given on the former 
odflaion, found suitable to this fresh occasion; on 
this same fresh occasion, a suitable amendment is ac- 
cordingly framed. 

Here, at the very outset of the inquiry, the distance 
of time between the point of time on which the oc- 

the erroneottsness of which hBs^ in the eyes of the author^ been 
rendered more and more assured^ the more dosely the circom- 
stances of the case have been looked into. Thai, in sfieech and 
even in aetkm, he was m outward appearance a convert to the re« 
ligioB of Jesifls ) this b what is admitted: that^ inwardly^ he was 
a convert to the religion of Jesus, believing Jesus to be God, or 
awlhoriited by any supenrntmral commission from Crod -, this is the 
position, the n^tm of which it is the object of the present wotk 
to render as evident to the reader, as a close examination has nen- 
dered it to the author. The consequence, the practical consequence, 
foOowB of itself. In the way of doctrine, whatsoever, being in Hhut 
Epistles of Paul is not in any one of the Gospels, betongs to Paul, 
and Paul alone, and forms no part of the religion of Jesus. This 
is what it seemed necessary to state at the opening ; and to this» 
In the character of a conclusion, the argument will be seen all 
along to tend. 

^. 1. Conversion Aeeounis — lAst — Table. 3 

currraoe is soppoeed to have taken place, and the time 
at v^ch the histcman's account of it was pennedj are 
cireumstances that present a claim to noUce. 

The year 35 after the birth of Christ is the year 
which, according to the received accounts "ii^, is assign- 
ed to theoccurrenoe. According to thesesameaccounts» 
the year 63 is the date given to the last occurrence 
mentioned by the hbtorian ^ : after which occurrence, 
two years are stated by him as having ek^^sed, at the 
time at which the lustory closes. Here then is an in- 
t^vai of i^ut 30 years, between the time at which the 
occurrence is stated to have happened, and the time 
at which these three mutually contradictory accomnts 
of it were framed. 

In regard to this radical occurrence in particular, 
namely PauFs conversion, — ^for the foundatbn of this 
his report, what evidence was it that the reporter had, 
or could have had in his possession, or at his com- 
inand ? One answer may serve fcnr all ; the accounts 
given of the matter by Paul himself. 

With I^ul, then, what were this same reporter's 
means and mode of intercourse ? In the year 59, and 
not before, (such is the inferaMse from his own words) 
did it fill! to his lot to be taken into the train of this 
self-denominated Apostle. Then it is, that for the first 
time, in the several accounts given by him of Paul's 
migrations from place to place, the pronouns tu^X and 
we make their appearance. From 34 to 59 years are 25. 

* The cfaroDolo^x which in theoomseof this work will through- 
out be employed. Lb that which all along stands at the top of the 
page, in that edition of the English Bible, which being printed 
for Scholey in Paternoster-row, goes by the name of Scholey*s 
Bible. Of the history here in question, no part of the chronology 
having, it is believed>been amc«g the topics of controversy, either 
Jbetween unbelieveis and believers^ or between one chuvch and 
another, the dates, it may not unreasonably be concluded, were 
taken from the most approved authorities. 

t Acts jcxviii. X Ibid. xx. 5. » 


4 Ch. I. Conversion ^ccounts-^improdable, 8fc. 

At the end of this interval came the earliest opportu- 
nity, which, for any thing that appears, he could have 
had of hearing from his master's own mouth, whatsoever 
account, if any, it may have been the pleasure of that 
same master to give, of an occurrence, in relatijn to 
which there existed not among men any other per^ 
cipient wftne&s* 

Having accompanied his master during the whole 
of his progress from Jerusalem, the historian speaks 
of himself as being still in his train on his arrival at 
Rome. Acts xxviii. 16, ^' And when we came to Rome,** 
&c. It is not precisely stated, nor can it very deter* 
minately be inferred, whether at the point of time at 
which the history closes, the historian was still at that 
capital ; the negative supposition presents itself as the 
most probable. Posterior to the closing of the real 
action of the history, the penning of it will naturally 
be to be placed. 

** Paul (says the Acts xxviii. 30) dwelt two whole 
years in his own hired house, and received all that 
came in unto him,** &c. When this last verse but 
one of the history was penning, had the historian been 
living with Paul, he would naturally have given us to 
understand as much ; instead ofdweli, he would have 
said has been dwelling. 

By the tokens of carelessness afforded by the omis- 
sion of so many particulars, which in every work of an 
historical nature the reader will naturally expect to see 
specified ; such as the name of the historian, the pa,rti- 
culars, occasion and manner of his being taken into the 
company of the illustrious missionary, and the time of 
that event ; — ^by these tokens, two inferences^ how dif- 
ferent soever their tendency, seem at once to be sug- 
gested. One is, the genuineness of the narrative. A 
writer, who was conscious that he was not the man he 
was thus representing himself to be, viz. the compa- 
nion of the missionary, would hardly have slid in, in 

§• I. Conversion Accounts — Lisi — Table. 5 

so careless a manner, the mention of so material a cir- \ 
eumstance. Theother is, theslendemess of the authors \ 
qualification for the task thus executed by him ; the low- > 
ness of his station in the scale of trustworthiness, and 
consequently the smallne^s of the probative force, with 
which a mass of evidence thus circumstanced can rea- 
sonably be considered as operating, in support of any 
alleged matter of fact, which, (either by the extraordi* 
nariness of its nature, or the temptation which the 
circumstances of the case afforded for entire fiction or 
misrepresentation,) presents itself as exposed to doubt 
or controversy. 

A supernatural conversion, and the receipt of a su- 
pernatural commission for the delivery of a iresh body 
of doctrine ; such are the two events, which, though in 
their nature so perfectly distinguishable, were accord- 
ing to this narrative combined in one : — the conversion 
from an unbelieving, cruel, and destructive persecutor 
of the new fellowship, into a most zealous supporter and 
coadjutor : the body of doctrine such as if it amounted 
to any thing, could not but have been — ^what the per- 
son in question declared it to be — a supplement to the 
religion taught by Jesus while in the flesh ; — a supple- 
ment, containing matter never revealed to, and conse- 
quently never taught by, his Apostles. 

Now then, of all these supernatural occurrences, 
which, by the nameless histon<^rapher, are related to 
have happened to Paul, if any thing had really happened 
to him — on this supposition, (so many as were the dif- 
ferent sets of disciples of his, inhabitants of so many 
mutually distant provinces, no fewer than eight 
in number) ; is it in the nature of the case, that in 
no one instance, in any of his numerous Epistles, he 
should have felt the necessity of stating, and accord- 
ingly have stated, to any of these his disciples, the cir- 
cumstances attending the event of his conversion — ^an 
event on which alone all his professions were founded ? 

6 Ch, L Conversion Accounts^mprobable^ 8fc* 

circumstances too which, as stated in his historian's 
narrative, could ndt from their nature have been known 
to any human being other than himself ? 

Yet, in no one of all his Epistles, to any one of 
these his disciples, of any such particular, either in 
the way of direct assertion, or in the way of allusion, 
is any trace to be found. Of revelation^ yes : oireve^ 
laiion — ^this one most momentous inde^, but at the 
same time most mysterious and uninstructive word, 
repetitions we have in abundance. But of the time 
and manner of the alleged communication, or of the 
matter communicated, nothing is any where scud. 
f In these considerations may be seen a part, though 
but a part, of those, on which, in due season, will be 
seen grounded the inference,— that at no time, in all 
the personal conferences he had with the Aposties, was 
any such story told by Paul, as is related by the author 
of the Acts. 

On the supposition that the narrative, such as it is, 
is genuine, — taking it as a whole, a very important 
source of division, from which it will require to be di- 
vided in idea into two pftrts or periods, here presents 
itself. Period the first, containing the portion of time 
anterior to the historian's admission into the train of 
the supposed Apostle : Period the second, contain- 
ing the portion of time posterior to that event : this 
latter portion continuing, as far as appears, to the time 
at which the history closes. 

In this latest and last mentioned period are compri- 
sed all the several facts, or supposed facts, in relation to 
which any grounds appear for the supposition that the 
historian was, in his own person, a percipient witness. 

In relation to all the several facts, or supposed fiicts, 
anterior to this period,^— the best evidence, which, for 
any thing that appears, ever came within his reach, 
was composed of such statements as, in the course of 
his service, it may have been the pleasure of the master 

§. 1. Ckmversion Accounts — l^isi — Tuble. 7 

to make to, or in the hearing of, this his attendant* 
Whatsoever may be the grounds of suspicion that 
may be found attaching themselves to evidence pass- 
ing through such a channel, or issuing from such a 
source ; other evidence will, if taken in the lump, 
present 4tself as being in comparison much less trust* 
worthy. All oth^ evidence consists of statements^ 
coming from we know not whom, at we know not 
what times, on we know not what occasion, each of 
them with we know not how many reporting wit- 
nesses, one after and from another, through so many 
different and successive channels, between the perci- 
pient witness or witnesses, and the last reporting wit- 
ness or witnesses, from whom the histonan received 
the statement in the way of personal intercourse. 

The period of rumour, and the period of observa* 
tion — By these two appellations it should seem, may 
the two periods be not altogether unaptly or unin- 
structively distinguished. 

With rrference to the period of rumour, — ^whether 
it was from Paul's own statement, or from a source 
still more exposed to suspicion, that the historian's con« 
ception was derived,T—roneconsideration presents itself^ 
as requisite to be kept in mind. This is. With what 
facility, especially in that age, upon an occurrence in 
itself true, and including nothing that lies without the 
ordinary course of nature, — a circumstance out of the 
course of nature, ^ving to the whole a supernatural, 
and to use the ordinary word a miraculous, character, 
may, in and by the narrative have been superinduced** 
Fact, for instance, as it really was — ^at the word of com^ 
mand, (suppose) a man, having the appearance of acrip* 
pie, stands up erect and w^lks : untrue circumstances, 
oneorbo^ superinduced byntmour-rf-themanhadbeen 
■■ » ■ I ■■ , »— ■-■I ■ . . ■ III I ■ I ■ 

* See Ch. 15. Paul's supposable miracles explaioed. 


8 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ 8fc. 

so from his birth ; from bis birth down to that same 
time he had been an inhabitant of that same place. 

In the chapter on Paul's supposable miracles, about 
a dozen occurrences of this description will be found. 
On each one of these several occasions, the propriety 
of bearing in mind the abovementioned consideration, 
will, it is believed, not appear open to dispute, what- 
soever on each several occasion may be the application 
made of it. 

Vision I. — dialogue on the road: paul hears a 


I. ACCOUNT— ^*i»cr Acw in. 1—9. 
iz. 1. And Sanl, yet breathing out threetenings end aleugbtcr egeinet the 
diflciplcs of the Lord, went unto the high prieit^ 2 . And dedred of him 
letben to Demaicus to the jynogvguef, that if he found any of this way, whe- 
ther they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 
3. And as he loummd, he came near fiamascus : and suddenly there 
sUned round about him a ught from ketnten : 4. And he fel) to the earth, 
and heard a voice saying unto himt Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?-«- 
5. And he said, Whoart thou. Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom 
tfaoupenecotett: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 . And he 
tremblinc and astonished said, Lord, what wUt thou have me to do ? And the 
Lord saia unto him, Arise, and go into the dty, and it shaHbe told thee what 
thou must do.««— 7. And the men n^iich joumeYed with him stood speech- 
less, kearing a voice but teeing no num. 8 . And Saul arose from the earth ; 
and when Mt e^ leerv openedt he earn no man i but they led him by the hand, 
and brought hun into Da m a sc us... m 9« And he was Uiree datfe wUwU fi^i, 

jtt per Acts zxu. S— 11. 

xziL 8. I am verily a man which am a Jew, bom in Tarsus, a city in Ci- 
Uda, yet brought up m this dty at the feet of Gamalid, and Uught according 
to the perfect manner of the law of the Ikthers, and was sealous toward Go{ 
as ye all are this day. 4 > And I penecuted this way unto the death, bind- 
ing and deliveting mto prisons both men and women. 5. As also the high 
priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom abe 
I receioed letters unto the hrethrenf and went to Damascus, tobring them 
whidi were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. 6. And it 
oone to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus 
abotU noont suddenly there shone ftom heaven a great light round about me. 
—7. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Ssul, 
Saul, why penecutest thou me ? 8 . And I answered. Who art thou. Lord? 
And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nasareth whom thou persecutest—— 

^. 2. Road Diatogue*^Paui hears-'-^ees nothings 9 

9. Aoa tfaqr that were with me «wimieedMfj^, and were Bfirud; Init^ 
Atfoitf nor tfaie Toice of him that spake to me.— —10. And I said. What slum 
I do» Lord ? And the Lord said unto me. Arise, and go into Damascus ; and 
there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.— — 

I I. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being kd by the 
band uf them that were with me, I came into Damascus. 


^Am j^ Acts xxvi. 9—20. 
xxtL 9. I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things coiw 
tniy to the name of Jesus of Naaareth.-^— 10. Which thing I also did in 
Jerusalem : and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received 
authority firom the chief priests ; and when they were put to death I gave my 
voice against them.— 1 1. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and 
compelled them to blaspheme ; and being exceedingly mad against tliem» I 
persecuted tfiem even unto strange cities.— fSL Whereupon as I went to 
Damascus with ovtAortty and oommuacmfnmi the c4igfprktfj^<—-^ At mirf- 
datff O Unff, I saw in the way a li^t from heaven^ above the brightness of 
the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.— 
14. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I htard a voice speaking unto 
mSf and saying m the Hebrew tongMe, Saul, Saul, why pcrsecutest thou me? 
it is hard for Uiee to kick against the pricks..-— 15. And I s«d, Who art 
tiiou, Lord ? And he said, I am Jesus whom them persecutest.— 16. But 
rise, and stand upon thy feet : for I have qipeared unto thee for this purpose^ 
to make thee a roiniHter and a witness both of these things which thou hast 
seen, and g^ those things in the which I will appear unto thee ;— 17. Deli- 
vering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send 

On comparing the three accounts of ^^ion Ist, the 
particulars will be found referable to twelve heads. 
Under no more than two of the twelve, will the con- 
formity among them be found entire. 

Where disconformity has place it may be clear or 
not clear of contradiction. Clear it may be of con- 
tradiction, when it consists either of mere deficiency 
or mere redundancy, or of both : deficiency or redun« 
dancy, according as it is this or that account, which, on 
theoccasion of the comparison,is tak^n for the standard. 

On the occasion in question, such is the importance 
of the occurrence, that the proper standard of reference 
and comparison is that which is most ample : that 
which, if not strictly speaking complete, wants the least 
of being so. On the part of the historian, speaking in 
his own person, omission is in such a case without 

Not so, necessarily, in the case of a person whom 
the historian speaks of as giving that person s own 

10 Ch. I. Conversion Aeeonnts — improbable^ 8fc. 

account of that same occurrence. What may be is, 
that in the nature of the occasion in which the person 
is represented as speaking of it, there is so much of 
suddenness, by reason of impending danger, ot urgent 
pressure, that, of the quantity of time nec^sary for 
complete utterance, and even of that necessary for 
complete and correct recollection, more or less was 

On the occasion of that account of the matter, 
which is the first of the two on which the historian 
represents Paul as giving an account of this momen- 
tous occurrence,^*-*this justification for want of com- 
pleteness, or this excuse for want of correctness, 
might naturally enough have place. For it was while 
pleading for his life at Jerusalem, before a mixed 
multitude, no inconsiderable part of which were en- 
deavouring at the destruction of it, that Paul is repre- 
sented as delivering this first of his two accounts : — 
call that the supposed unstudied or unpremetUiaied 

Not so, on the o<^casion on which he is represented 
as delivering the second of these same two accounts. 
On this occasion, it is true, he is represented as plead- 
ing in his defence. But it is plea^ng in and before 
a regularly constituted judicatory, and after time for 
preparation in much greater abundance than he coirld 
have wished: — call this the supposed studied or pre* 
meditated oocoutU. 

In this view, the proper standard of comparison can 
not be dubious. 'Hie historian being himself, in all 
three accounts, tHeimmediatdy reporting witness, and 
having had his own time for the forming of them all, — 
that which he gives in his own person, and which 
therefore naturally occupies the first place, should, in 
respect of both qualities, as well as in that of cleMrness, 
have been, (and, setting aside deceptious design, natu- 
rally would have been^) as perfect as it was in his 

§. 2.RoadDialogue--rPaulhearS''^e€S nothing. 1 1 

power to make it. To the others alone could any ex« 
cusc be afforded, in respect of any one of diose re- 
quisites, by any circumstance peculiar to the respec- 
tive cases. 

What is above bdng observed— Of the ten follow- 
ing instances of disconformity, sev^i will be found to 
be cases of simple deficiency, three of contradiction. 

In those which are cases of simple deficiency, it witt 
be seen to have urgency for its justification or excuse ; 
for the others there appears no justification or excuse. 
Of the twelve distinguishable heads in question, under 
two alone, viz. that of place loid that of time, wtU the 
conformity be found complete. Plaee^ a spot near to 
Damascus, in the road leading from Jerusalem to Da- 
mascus : Tmie^ meaning time of d!(zy,— ^about noon. 
But, in the quality of trustworthiness deficient as all 
three accounts will pres^itly be shown to be, it will 
be seen how little is contributed, by conformity as to 
the mere circumstances of time and place. 

Now then let us see the subjects, in relation to 
which a want of conformity is observable. To save 
words, the shortest form tA description possible wilt 
throughout be employed. 

Omissions. 1. The light seen. 

— 2. The dialogue. 

■ 3. Falling to the ground. 

— — 4. Language of the voice. 
— — — 6. Kicking against the pricks. 
Contradictions* 6. The Lord's commands. 
■■ 7. Paul's companions' posture. 

■ 8. Paul's companions' hearing or 

not hearing. 
■ 9. If hearing, what they heard. 
10. Nothing seen but light. 

L Light seen. — Between Acts account and Paul's 
Ist or supposed unstudied account^ no disconformity 

14 Cli. I. ^Conversion Aecountsr^^imprdbable^ Sfc. 

which, on this occasion, was employed by that voice, 
which by Paul, by whom it had, never been heard be- 
fore, was immediately widerstood to be the Lord's; 
i. e. Jesii8*s ; i. e. God's. The character, in which 
Paul was on this occasion brought by his historio- 
grapher on the stage, being that of a consummate 
orator, furnished with all his graces,— -this compliment 
was among the rest put into his mouth. Moreover, 
by Jesus no language, for aug^t tibat appears, but the 
Hebrew, having been ever spoken, hence the account 
became the more consistent or credible. 

5. Kicking mgamsi the prieks. — <' Hard for thee to 
kick against the pricks.'' Per Aets, this proverUal 
expression is employed by the voice, as soon as it 
turns out to have been the Lord's. In the supposed 
and hasty unstudied speeeh, it is dropt. This is na- 
tural enough. In Paul 2^-— in that studied speech, it 
is employed : it stands there among the fibwers. 

6. The LoTfTs commands. — Commands delivered 
to Paul by the Lord. Under this head there is a disas- 
trous difference ; a sad contradiction. Per Acts, the 
command is for Paul to go into Damascus : there it 
stops. Follows immediately an article of info^maUon, 
which is, that at that time and place there is no in- 
formation for him ; but that, sooner or later, some will 
be ready for him. After he has arrived at Damascus, it 
shall there, by somebody or other, be told him (it is 
said) what he is to do. So likewise in P^ul P, in the 
unstudied speech, he b, in like manner, to learn not 
merely what he is to do, but every thing that he is to 
do. Lastly comes, Paul 2^ the studied speech. By 
the time the historian had arrived at this point in his 
history, he had forgotten that, according to his own 
account of the matter, no information at all had, during 
the road scene, been given to Pbul by the Lord's voice ; 
by that voice whidi was so well known to be the 
Ixird's. That the supposed studied speech, by the 

^,%. Road IHrnhgue-^P^ulhews^sees nothing. 15 

dbafiM of which the &TOur of the Ejng was 50 hap« 
pily gamed, might be the more impressive, — ^he makes 
hb oratof ,rin direct contradiction to the account which, 
on the former occasion, had by him (the historian) 
been given, enter, on the very spot, into all the details 
of the Lord's commands. 

When the time had come for composing this snp- 
poaed stndied speech, — the historian bad (it shonld 
seem) foigot Ananias's vision, that subsidiary visicNi, 
which we shall come to presently, containing a further 
promise of l^eLord's commasnds and instructions ; and 
which, after all, unless it is by this studied speech that 
th^ are to be regarded as giveil, are not given by him 
imy where. 

7. Paulas companions — their posture. — ^Per Acts, 
though he fell, they stood it out. Per Paul 1% not 
said whether th^ fell or stood it out. Per Paul 2^, 
they fell. The supposed studied oratorical account 
18 here in full ooBtrndidion with the historical one« 

8. PimTs eQmpamanS'--'4heir hearhig or not hear^ 
if^.^^Gt Acts, they not only saw the light, but heaid 
the voice. Per Paijd 1®, they did not hear the voice. 
In the ^iupposed hasty and imstudied speech is the 
oratorical account made to contcmdict the historical 
one. tn this particular, which of the accounts was 
true ? If the historical, the haste must, in tlie orato- 
rical, be the apology, not only for the incompleteness 
but for the incorrectness. In Paul 2% nothing is said 
about their hearing or not hearing. 

Supposing the story in any of the accounts to have 
had any tru& in it, there was a middle case, fully as 
possible and natural as either of these extreme and 
mutually contradictory ones. It may have been, that 
while some stood theb ground, others fell. And the 
greats the numbers, the greater the probability of this 
middle case. But as to their number, all is darkness. 

9. PauTs compamons—if they heard, what it was 

16 Cji.I. Onwersian Accounts — improbable^ 8fc. 

they heard. — If they heard any thing, they heard, as 
far as appears, whatever Pkiul himself heard Per 
Acts, it is after the order given to Paul to go on to 
Damascus, — ^with the jpromise thereupon, that there 
and then^ and not herore, he should receive the in* 
formation he should receive ; it is after the statement 
made of his hearing all this from the voice, that 
the further statement comes, declaring that it was 
by Paul's companions also that this same voice was 
heard. But this same voice was, it is said, the 
Iiord's voice. That when the voice had answered to 
the name by which Paul called it, to wit, the name of 
Lord, it stopt there, so far as concerned PauFs com- 
panions ; — and that it reserved what followed, to wit^ 
the above-mentioned order with the promise, for 
Paufs single ear ; true it is, this may be imagined 
as well as any thing else : but at any rate it is not 

If Paul 2^ — ^the studied oratorical account — ^is to be 
believed, all the information for the communication of 
which this miracle was performed was, as will be seen, 
communicated here upon the road : viz. immediately 
after the voice had been called by him Lord. But, if 
this was the case, and, as above, Paul's companions 
heard all that he heard, — ^then so it is, that the revela- 
tion was made as well to them as to him;— this revela- 
tion, upon the strength of which we shall see him set- 
ting himself up above all theAposties ; himself and that 
Gospel of his own, which he says was his own, and none 
of theirs. Now then-^these companions— was it upon 
tiie same errand as his that they went, to wit, the bring- 
ing in bonds to Jerusalem all the Damascus Chrb- 
tians ? If so, or if on any other account they were any 
of them in a condition to need conversion, — they were 
converted as well as he ; or else, so far as concerned 
them, the miracle was thrown away. Companions' as 
they were of his, were they or were they not respect- 

^. 2. ViswH 1. Rood Dialogue — FoiceheardySfc. 17 

tively attendants of his ? attendants going under his 
orders, and on the same errand ? Unless, by the Je- 
rusalem rulers, on the part of the Damascus rulers, 
both will and power were depended upon, as adequate 
to the task of apprehending the followers of Jesus and 
sending them bound to Jerusalem, such these com- 
panions ought to have been, every one of them — sup- 
posing always on the part of this about-to-be Apostle 
an ordinary prudence : that sort and degree of prudence 
with which no ordinary police-officer is unprovided. 
Some persons under his orders he must have had, or 
he could never have been sent on so extensively and 
strongly coercive an errand. 

These companions, if, on this occasion, any such 
or any other companions he had, had each of them a 
name. To this vision, such as it was, they being each 
of them respectively, as well as himself, whether in 
the way of sight and hearing both, or in the way of 
sight alone, percipient witnesses, their names, in the 
character of so many percipient witnesses, ready upon 
every proper occasion to answer in the character of 
reporting witnesses, would have been of no small use : 
of use, were it only for the giving to this story a little 
more substance than it has in the form we see it in. 

As to Ananias — the supposed principal actor in the 
scene next to Paul— ^for him, indeed, supposing any 
such person to have existed, a name, it is seen, was 
found. But, with a view to any purpose of evidence, 
how little that name amounted to, will be seen likewise. 

In this vision of RiuFs, as it is called, — ^was any per- 
son seen, or any thing but light — ^light at mid- day .^ 
No ; positively not any person, nor as far as appears, 
the light excepted, any thing whatsoever. Per Acts 
(chap. ix. ver. 8) when " his eyes were opened,** — so it 
is expressly said,— ''he saw no man.** This was after he 
had iiallen to the earth; for it was after he arose from 
the earth. But, it was before he fell to the earth, and 


18 Ch. I. Cofwersion Accounts — improbable, 8fc. 

thereupon heard the voice, that, according to this same 
account, he saw the extra light — ^the light created for 
the purpose: and, forasmuch as at the conclusion of 
the dialogue with the five speeches in it — forasmuch 
as at the conclusion of it, such was the effect pro- 
duced upon him by the light, as to render him at that 
time stone-blind, requiring to be led by the hand, it 
could not from the first have been any thing less ef- 
fective. Per Acts, in this state he continues all the 
way as far as Damascus, and for three days after his 
arrival there. So likewise in the supposed unstudied 
speech, Paul 1**. But in the studied speech, Paul 2**, 
there is, no blindness; the blindness is either forgotten 
or discarded. 

But the curious circumstance is, his being led by 
the hand — all the way to Damascus led by the hand: — 
led by thehand by the^e same companions. Now these 
same companions, how was it that they were able to 
lead him by the hand ? All that he saw was the light, 
and by that light he was blinded. But all that he 
saw they saw : this same light they saw as well as he. 
This same light, then, by which he was blinded — ^were 
they not blinded likewise by it ? Was it a privilege — 
a privilege reserved for a chosen favourite — a privi- 
lege which it cost a miracle to produce — the beihg 
blinded when nobody else was blinded ? 

Blinded then as they were, how came he to be led 
by them, any more than they by him ? Can the blind 
lead the blind .^ Let Jesus answer. Shall they not both 
fall into the ditch ? 

Oh ! but (says somebody) it is only in Paul I** — ^in 
PauFs supposed unstudied speech, that the historian 
makes them see the light that Paul saw^ Answer. 
True : but neither in his own person does he say the 
contrary. As to their seeing, all he says is, that they 
saw no^man, " hearing a voice but seeing no man." 
(ver. 7.) But by the same account, (ven 8.) " When 

^. 2. f^isiofi 1. Road Dialogue — f^oice/icardySfc, 19 

his eyes were opened, he saw no man ;" so that, though 
in what he says in his own person the historian does 
not mention this which he mentions, speaking in Paal's 
person, — ^yet he does not contradict it. 

10. Paul*s companions. JVhat part ^ if any ^ took 
they in the conversation? — Per Acts, they stood speech- 
less : and it is after the dialogue has been reported, 
that this is stated. In the unstudied speech, nothing 
is said about their speech. In the studied speech, 
mth reference to them, no mention is made of speech ; 
any more than of sight or hearing. 

But, forasmuch as, according to Acts, whatever 
I\iul saw and heard, they saw and heard likewise; how 
happened it, that by no one of them, so much as a 
word, on an occasion so interesting to all, was said — 
or a question put ? To be sure it was to Paul alone, 
that by the voice,' whosever it was, any address was 
made. It was his concern : — ^his alone, and none of 

So, indeed, some might think; but, others in their 
situation, quite as naturally might think otherwise. 
Sooner or later, at any rate, they would recover what- 
ever it was they lost: sight, if sight; speech, if speech. 
Wlienever recovered, speech would thereupon range 
with but the greater freedom, for the restraint which, 
for a time, had been put upon it : — range over the 
whole business^ including whatever secrets Paul had 
been put in possession of: — the commission, the 
sweeping and incarcerating commission he had been 
intrusted with by the rulers, and the unperformed pro- 
mise that had been made to him by the voice, which 
being at mid-day, accompanied by an extraordinary 
light, was of course the Lord^s voice. These things 
would naturally, by these his companions, have been 
converted from secrets into town-talk. 

Nay but (says somebody) though it is said he saw no 
man^ it is not said, he saw not the Lord : and elsewliere 


20 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — mprobable^ 8fc. 

he may be seen saying — saying in the most positive 
terms, that he did see the Lord*. And if he did see 
the Lord any where, why not here as well as any where 
else ? 

" Saw no man.'' Yes : so says the English ver- 
sion. But the original is more comprehensive: — Saw 
no person, says the original : that is, to speak literally, 
saw no one of the masculine gender. No one what.' 
No one person of this gender : this is what the word 
means, if it means any thing. No person ; and there- 
fore no Lord : no God ; if so it be that, when applied 
to denote God, the word person means God, or as 
some say, a part of God. 

Note, likewise, — that, when the companions are 
spoken of, — both in the translation and in the original, 
the object to which the negative is applied is expressed 
by the same word as when he, Paul, is spoken of-f-. 

Vision 1L — Ananias's. 

Topic 1. — AnanicLs'i Description, 
Of the vision itself there being but one account, by 
this singleness discordancy is saved. 

But, of the description belonging to Ananias there 
are two accounts. One the historical, as before : the 
other, the unpremeditated oratorical account supposed 
to be given by Paul in the first of his two supposed 
speeches, as above ; and, room being thus given for 
discordancy, — discordancy, as of course, enters — or at 
any rate a strong suspicion of it. 

Per Acts, Ananias is a disciple : a disciple, to wit 

* Ist Epistle to the Corinthians xv. 8. 

t Of the companions it is said /xij^iva h ^swpSi^rBi : of Paul, 

^.3. yisUmi. Anamass. 21 

a Chmtian ; a disciple immediately of Jesus or his 
Apostles : for, such is the signification attached to the 
word disciple in the Acts : such he would on this oc- 
casion be of course understood to be; for, otherwise 
the word would be uncharacteristic and insignificant. 

Materially different is the description supposed to 
have been given of this same Ananias by Pftul in that 
same supposed unpremeditated speech; so different 
as to be not without effort, if by any effort, recon- 
cileable with it. 

He is now a disciple of Jesus and the Apostles ; of 
that Jesus, by whom the law, i. e. the Mosaic law, was 
after such repeated exposure of its inaptitude, pro- 
nounced obsolete. He is now not only spoken of as 
being, notwithstanding this conversion, a devout man 
according to that same law; but, moreover, as having 
a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, to wit 
at Damascus. Of the Jews ? Yes ; of ^\air'' the Jews. 

If, notwithstanding his conversion to a religion by 
which that of the Jews was slighted and declared to 
be superseded, he was still so happy as to be the sub- 
ject of this good report^ which is as much as to say— 
of a correspondently unanimous good opinion; this, 
it would seem, would have been the man to preach to 
them that religion : especially if that part of the story 
were true, according to which he was distinguished 
by the same supernatund sort of communication; this 
man, who was already a Christian, this man, and not 
Paul, who of all opposers of Christianity had been the 
most fierce and the most mischievous, would naturally 
have been the man to receive the supernatural com- 
mission. Supposing his vision real, and the reports of 
it true, no difficulty, rationally speaking, could he have 
found in obtaining credence for it at the hands of the 
Apostles : those Apostles, at whose hands, from first 
to last it will be seen, never was it the lot of Paul, 
with his vision or visions, to obtain credence. 

22 Ch. I. Conversion Accotmis — improbable^ 8[c. 

The audience, before which this speech was sup- 
posed to be delivered, of whom was it composed ? 
With the exception of a few Romans, to whom it was 
probably unintelligible unless by accident, altogether 
of Jews ; and these— -no one can say in what propor- 
tion, probably in by much the largest, Jews not chris- 
tianized. Hence then the sort of character, which the 
occasion and the purpose required should be given, to 
this supposed miraculously formed acquaintance of the 
person who, upon the strength of this acquaintance, 
was to he numbered among the Apostles. 

Topic 2. — Mode of Conversation. 

By this vision is produced a dialogue. Interlocu- 
tors, the Lord and Ananias. In the course of the 
dialogue, speeches five : whereof, by the Lord, three ; 
the other two by Ananias. 

In and by the first pidr of speeches the Lord calls 
the man by his name : the man answers^ Behold, 
says he, I am here. Lord. In the English translation^ 
to atone for the too great conciseness of the Greek 
original, the words " am heri^ are not improperly 
interpolated. Giving to this supposed supernatural 
intercourse what seemed to him a natural cast — a 
cast suited to the occasion — seems to have been the 
object of the historian in the composition of this 
dialogue. But, upon so supernatural a body, a na- 
tural colouring, at any rate a colouring such as thijs, 
does not seem to fit quite so completely as might 
have been wished. On the road, when the voice, — 
which turned out to be that of the Lord, that is, being 
interpreted, Jesus's, — addressed itself to Paul, this 
being the first intercourse, there was a necessity for its 
declaring itself, for its declaring whose it was; and the 
declaration was made accordingly.^ Here, on the other 
hand, no sooner does Ananias hear himself called by 
Ills name, than he knows who the person is by whom 

§. 3. Vision 2* Anainas^s. 23 

he is thus addressed. Taken as it stands, an answer 
thus prompt includes the supposition of an already 
established intercourse. Such intercourse supposed—- 
in what way on former occasions had it been carried 
on? Laying such former occasion out of the question 
— in what way is it supposed to be carried on on the 
occasion here in question ? On the occasion of his 
visit to P^ul, — ^the Lord, to whomsoever he may have 
been audible, had never, from first to last, as we have 
seen, been visible. On the occasion of this visit of his 
to Ananias — ^was the Lord audible only, or visible only, 
or both audible and visible ? If both audible and vi- 
sible, or even if only visible, — the mode of revelation 
was more favourable to this secondary and virtually 
unknown personage, than to the principal one. 

Between mortal and mortal, when it is the desire 
of one man to have personal communication with 
another whom he supposes to be within hearing, but 
who is either not in his sight or not looking towards 
him, — ^he calls to him by his name ; and in token of 
his having heard, the other answers. From man to 
man, such information is really necessary ; for — that 
the requisite attention has place where it is his desire 
that it should have place, the human interlocutor has 
no other means of knowing. Not considering, that 
the person to whom the information is supposed to 
be conveyed is a sort of person to whom no such 
information could be necessary, the historian repre- 
sents his Ananias as giving to the Lord, as if to a 
mere mortal, information of his presence. Behold, 
Lord ! I am here. 

Topic 3. — Lord's Commands and Information : Want of parikn- 
larization a disprobative Circumstance. 

The conversation being thus begun, the interlocu- 
tors proceed to business. In speech the 3^, Lord 
delivers to Ananias (the devout Jew) a command, ar d 

24 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts— improbable^ &fc. 

thereupon a piece of information. The command is — 
to repair to a place therein described, and find out 
Paul: the information is — that at the time then pre- 
sent Paul is praying ; and that, at an anterior point 
of time not designated, he had seen a vision. 

In the command, the designation of the place wears, 
upon the face of it, the appearance of that sort and 
degree of particularity, the exaction of which is, in 
these days, (in which genuine visions are never exem- 
plified,) matter of course, on every occasion on which 
it is the real intention, of those on whom it depends, 
that through the medium of personal testimony the 
truth should be extracted. On every such occasion, 
the object in question, whether it be an event or a 
quiescent state of things, is endeavoured to be indivi- 
dualized: and, for the production of this effect, the in- 
dividual portion of space, and the individual portion of 
time, are endeavoured to be brought to view together. 

On the occasion here in question, towards the in- 
^vidualization of the portion of space some approach 
is made: the town being foreknown, to wit Damas- 
cus, the street is particularized ; it is the street called 
Straight: as in Westminster we have Long-ditch^ 
and in Liondon Crooked-lane. Moreover, the house 
is particularized ; it is the house of Judas. To this 
Judas had any one of those marks of distinction been 
added, which in that age and nation we find to have 
been common, — as in the instance of the too noto- 
rious Judas the Iscariot, i. e. the inhabitant of Iscara, 
and in that of Judas Barsabas, i. e. the son of Sabas, 
or, as we should say, Sabasson^ not long after men- 
tioned*, — it would have been something. But, desti- 
tute of such limitative adjunct, Judas of itself was 
nothing. In that age and country, even without reck- 
oning notorious traitors, there was never any want of 

* Act« XV. 22; 

^. 3. Vision 2. Ananias^ s. 2S 

Judases. Not inferior in plenty were Ananiases : in 
the Acts we have three of them ;-*«this private inha* 
bitant of Damascus : the High Priest, whose seat was 
at Jerusalem ; and the husband of Sapphira : and in 
Josephus they vie in abundance with the Johns and 

But, on the occasion in question, and to the pur- 
pose in question, though a distinctive adjunct as above 
would have done something, it would have done very 
little. In the field of time, — ^seven-and-twenty years at 
least, and we know not how much more, according to 
the received chronology, was the distance between the 
event in question, and the report given of it in this 
history* Neither in Damascus nor yet in Jerusalem 
was any such thing as a newspaper, — not even an 
enslaved newspaper, in existence; no, nor yet so 
much as a printing-press, — not even an enslaved 
printing-press. For writing, the materials were ex- 
pensive ; and hand-writing was the only mode of co- 
pying. Publication was not, as under the printing- 
press, promiscuous t unless by accident, for an inde« 
finite length of time, into no other hand did any copy 
find its way, other than those of the author's confi- 
dential friends, or friends separated from the author 
by a greater or less number of removes, as it might 
happen ; but all of them linked to one another by the 
bonds of amity, and unity of principle and practice. 

In such a capital as Damascus, Straight-street 
might have been as long as Oxford^street ; and, unless 
the style of building in those earlier days had much 
more of convenience and luxury in it than in these 
latter days, was much more crowded. Conceive a man 
at this time of day, going to Oxford-street with the 
intention of finding the house, in which, thirty years 
ago^ a man of the name of Brown or Smith had his 
residence, — to wit, on some indeterminate day, of the 
number of those included within the space of an inde- 

26 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable, 8fc. 

terminate number of years; and this, for the purpose 
of ascertiuning whether, on this indeterminate day, and 
by this Smith or this Brown, a vision, not seen by 
any body else, had been seen. Suppose a man in 
Rome set out on such an errand — ^and then say what 
would be the probable result of it. 

Topic 4. — VuUm reported to Jnanias by the Lord as haomg been 
ieen by Paul. 

Of the report then given of this anterior vision, the 
character is too remarkable Jo be given, as it were, in 
a parenthesis : it is therefore referred to a separate 
head. Acts ix. 12. " And Paul hath seen in a vision a 
man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand 
on him that he might receive his sight.'* 

Topic 5. — Ananias fi Objection to the Lord's Commands to visit 
Paul — He informs the Lord what he had heard about Paul. 

. By the two first speeches of this dialogue, we are 
given to understand that Ananias had already held 
intercourse with the Lord ; an intercourse which, the 
nature of the two parties considered, could not have 
been other than a supernatural intercourse : yes, and on 
this very subject: for, if not on this particular subject, 
the subject of it, whatever it was, could not but have 
called for notice and communicaUon. But, no sooner 
does this next speech commence, than we are given to 
understand that there had not — could not have been 
any such intercourse : for if there had been, what 
follows would have been rendered useless and needless. 
Upon receiving the command, Ananias's first thought 
is — to endeavour to excuse himself from paying obe- 
dience to it ; for in this endeavour it is, that he gives 
the Lord a piece of information ; to wit — of what, in 
relation to Paul's character, he (Ananias) had heard. 
Acts ix» 13: ^* Then Ananias answered. Lord, I have 

^.3. f^on 2. Ananias s. 27 

heard by many of this man, hour much evil he hath 
done to thy saints at Jerusalem. And here be hath 
authority from the Chief-priests to bind all that call 
on thy name." Thus then, commands known to have 
been the Lord's, having that instant been received, — 
the man by whom they have been received — so small is 
the confidence, reposed in the Lord by this his favoured 
disciple — ^instead of paying obedience to them, an- 
swers them by an objection. This objection, prepared 
for it or not prepared for it, the Lord, as might well 
be expected, immediately overrules. 

A question that here presents itself is — Since it was 
from many^ i. e. many men, that Ananias had heard, 
not only what every body had been hearing for weeks, 
or months, or years, — ^viz. of the evil that Paul had been 
doing to the Jerusalem saints, but of the authority that 
he had so lately received, to bind at Damascus aJl the 
Damascus saints he could find — since it was from so 
many, who then were these many .^ How was it, that in 
the compass of the three days (ver. 9), during which Paul 
had remained without sight or nourishment, a com- 
mission,-^to the execution of which secrecy was so ob- 
viously necessary, — ^had to such a degree transpired ? 
Suppose the secret to have thus transpired, — two re- 
sults would, in any natural and credible state of things, 
have been among the consequences. I^^e persons 
thus devoted to destruction would have made their 
escape; the commission by which alone the supposed 
proceedings against them could have found a justifi- 
cation or a cause, not having been delivered. On the 
other hand, hearing that Paul was there, and that he 
either was, or pretended to be, in the house in ques- 
tion, or in some other, in the extraordinary condition 
above described,— the persons spoken of in the Acts 
under the name of the Synagogue, would not have 
left him there, but would have convened him before 
them, and, if he really had any such commission, have 

28 Ch. I. Conversion ^ccounis -^-improbable, 8fc, 

caused it to be produced, and read it: convened before 
them, not only Paul with his supposed commission, 
but those companions of his that we have already 
heard of, if any such he had^i^. 

But of these there will be occasion to speak in 
another place. 

Topic 6. — The Lord's Answer, obviating the objection, and giving 
intimation of tus designs in favour of Paul, 

This objection, no sooner has the Lord overruled 
it, than he undertakes to answer it, and to explain 
to this his so singularly favoured old disciple the in- 
tentions he had formed in favour of his intended new 
convert, whose conversion is, however, as yet but in 
progress (ver, 14) : " But the Lord said to him. Go 
thy way ; for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear 
my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the chil- 

♦ Another question that here presents itself is — How could it 
have happened that, Jerusalem being under one government, and 
Damascus under another (if so the case was), the will of the local 
rulers at Jerusalem found obedience, as it were of course, at the 
hands of the adequate authorities at Damascus ? To the question 
how this actually happened, it were too much to undertake to 
give an answer. For an answer to the question how it may be 
conceioed to have happened, reference may be made to existing 
English practice. The warrant issued by the constituted authori- 
ties in Jerusalem expected to find, and found accordingly in Damas- 
cus, an adequate authority disposed to back it. In whatsoever 
Gentile countries Jews, in a number sufficient to compose a syna- 
gogue, established themselves, a habit naturally enough took place, 
88 of course, among them — the habit of paying obedience, to a 
considerable extent, to the functionaries, who were regarded as 
rulers of the synagogue. Few are or have been the conquered 
countries, in which some share of subordinate power has not been 
left, as well to the natives of the conquered nation as to any in- 
dependent foreigners, to whom, in numbers sufficient to constitute 
a sort of corporate body, it happened from time to time to have 
become settlers. After all, what must be confessed is — that, in all 
this there seems nothing but what might readily enough have been 
conceived, without its having been thus expressed. 

^. 4. Ananias^s f\sii to PmU at Damascus. 20 

dren of Israel : — ^For (continues the Lord) I will show 
him how great things he must suffer for my name's 
sake.** Being, and therefore at the time of Paul's 
vision purposing to be, in relation to his designs for 
Paul, thus communicative to this same Ananias, who 
is a perfect stranger to this same Paul, — ^to what 
purpose, on the occasion of his supposed visionary 
intercourse with Paul, should the Juord have stopt 
short ; reserving the communication, for the inten- 
tion of giving it him at second-hand by the month 
of that same stranger ? This is one of the swarms of 
questions which an account of this sort could scarcely 
fail to present to any inquiring mind. 

Meantime, as to the Lord's having thus stopt 
short, this we shall see is in full contradiction with 
the account which the historian makes him give in his 
supposed second reported speech, to wit the supposed 
premeditated one, spoken before Agrippa, who, under 
the proconsul Festus, was king of the Jews, and who, 
on that occasion, is spoken of as being assessor to the 
said proconsul Festus. On that occasion the Lord is 
represented as explaining himself more fully to Paul 
himself, than here, for the benefit of Paul, through 



We now come to the visit, which, we are to under- 
stand, was, in reality, paid to Paul by Ananias, in con- 
sequence of this vision, in obedience to the command 
imagined to be given in it. 

Note that, though, in the original — in the including 
vision, as it may be called — the command is given to 

so Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ 8fc. 

inquire in the house in question for the person (Saul) 
in question, — this is all the command which, in that 
least visionary of the two visions, is delivered. In the 
first instance to make the inquiry, and in conclusion 
to go his way — this is all to which the commands 
given to him in the direct way extend themselves. 
To accomplish the object of this intercourse — ^to do 
any thing towards it beyond the making of this inquiry 
— he has to take hints and to draw inferences: — infer- 
ences from the L«rd*s speech,which is thus continued. 
Acts ix. 12: " And (Paul) hath seen in a vision a 
man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand 
on him that he might receive his sight.** From hav- 
ing been told what — in a vision, to wit, this contained 
or included vision — this same Paul had hei^xifa7icying 
he had seen him (Ananias) do-^from this he was to 
conclude that it was the Lord*s will that he (Ananias) 
should do ifi reality that which Paul had been fancy- 
ing him to have done ; though the only effect, for the 
doing of which it had so been fancied to have been 
performed, had never been produced. This was what 
he was to conclude was the Lord*s will ; although the 
Lord himself, who (if any person) should have known 
how to speak plainly and beyond danger of miscon- 
ception, had forborne to tell him as much. 

On the occasion of this important visit — this visit 
of Ananias to Paul, — the double light — the light cast 
by the first of the two oratorical accounts — to wit; the 
supposed unpremeditated one, upon the historical one 
— recommences. 

Follows now — and fi*om both sources — the account 
of the interview, and of the cure performed in the 
course of it. 

ACTS' ACCOUNT.— Ch. ix. vcr. 17—22. 
^ Ver. 17. And Ananias vent his way, and entered into the house ; and put- 
ting his hands on him, said: Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, tliat ap- 
peared unto thee in the way as thou earnest, hath sent me, that thou mi^htest 
receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy GAo«f.— -18. And immediately 

^. 4. Ananias^s Visit to Paul ai Damascus. 3 1 

there fell from hiB eyesM it had been iea2ef .* and he received ligfat forthwith, 
and arose, and was Ac^ptiwd.— '19. And when he had recetYed meat, he was 
•trehgtfaened. Then was Saul eertam dayt with the disciples iHiich were ai. 
ThmoMc ui , 2 0. And straightway he .preaeked Christ in the sjrnagogucs, 
that he is the Son of God.-— —81. But all that heard him were amaaed, and 
laid: Is not this he that destroyed them i^ch called on this name in Jeru- 
salem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto 
the Chief Priests?— 28. But Saul mereaaed the more in strength, and eon" 
founded the Jewt which dwelt at I/amaaeWf proving that this is very Christ. 

PAUL'S ACCOUNT.— Acts, Ch. zxii. ver. 18—16. 

12. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good 
report of all the Jews which dwelt ther C f 13. Came unto me, and stood, 
and said unto me: Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I 
looked up upon him.— —14. And he said : T& God of our fathers hath 
chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and aee that Just One, and 
sbouldest hear the voice of his mouth.— 15. For thou shalt be his witness 
unto all men of what thou hast teen and beard. 16. And now, why tar- 
nest thou ? arisen and be bcptizedt and wash away thy ans; calling on the name 
of the Lord. 

Topic L On puiting Paul, Jnanias's Introductory Speech — Pre^' 
Uminary ReciiaL 

I. In the historical account^ the speech has in it se- 
veral distinguishable parts. 

!• " Brother Saul.- 

First comes the address, in which Saul, the future 
Paul, is addressed by disciple Ananias by the name of 
brother. If, as between Jew and Jew, this was a com- 
mon form of salutation, — so far everything is in order. 
But, if it was only in consideration of his having been 
denominateda disciple, to wit, of Jesus, — ^the salutation 
is rather premature : the conversion, supposing it ef- 
fected, is, at any rate, not yet declared. Not only 
in the historical account is this appellation employed, 
but likewise in the oratorical one. 

The attention of Paul being thus bespoken by his 
visitor, mendon is thereupon made of the purpose of 
the visit. 

I • In the first place comes a recital. *^ The Lord 
(says he), even Jesus, that appeared unto thee on the 
way as thou camest, hath sent me**. .• .Unfortu- 
nately, according to the historian himself, this asser- 
tion, as we have seen already, is not true. In no man- 

32 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ 8fc. 

ner or shape did the Lord Jesus, or any other person^ 
make his appearance ; — ^all that did appear was the 
light— the light at mid-day: so he has just been wri- 
ting, and before the ink (if ink it was that he used) 
was dry, already had he forgotten it. 

This, however, is but a collateral averment : — a re- 
cital, an episode, matter of inducement, as an English 
lawyer would phrase it. 

Topic 2. Declared Purposes or Objects of the Visit. 

Purpose the first, "That thou mightest,** says Ana- 
nias, " receive thy sight.'* Thus says Ananias in the 
historical account : in the supposed oratorical one he 
is more concise. No supposed past occurrence re- 
ferred to: — no purpose declared. " Receive thy sight** 
are the words. 

Purpose the second. That thou mightest " be filled 
with the Holy Ghost,** says the historical account. But 
in a succeeding passage what is the purpose, which, in 
the supposed oratorical account Ananias is made to 
speak of, in the design that it should be taken for the 
purpose which the Lord by his commandment meant 
to be accomplished ."^ Not the being filled by the Holy 
Ghost ; only the being baptized. " And now, why tar- 
riest thou ? (Acts xxii. ver. 16) Arise and be baptized, 
and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the 
Lord.** Well but (says somebody) receiving the 
Holy Ghost, and being baptized, —by these two ex- 
pressions, is not one, and no more than one effect — 
one and the same effect — to be understood ? No, in 
truth, if the historian himself is to be believed. Turn 
to another chapter — ^the very next chapter before this*, 
and there you will see, that the being baptized was one 
thing, the receiving the Holy Ghost another thing. 

* Acts viii. 12 to 17. 

^.4. Ananias^ s Fisii to Paul at Danuiscus. 33 

and much more. For administering the ceremony 
of baptism, a single Apostle, Philip, was sufficient : 
whereas, for the causing the Holy Ghost to be received, 
nothing less was requisite than the cooperation of two 
Apostles, and those two commissioned by the rest. 

So serious always, according to this historian, was 
the difference, that it was after he had been already 
baptized, and baptized gratis in a crowd, that for the 
power of conferring this benefit, whatever It was that 
it was composed of, Sorcerer Simon made to the 
'two Apostles, those offers — ^those pecuniary offers 
•*— whicn are said to have been no sooner made than 

Topic 3. — Actual Effects of the Fisii, and the Application in con* 
sequence made in the course of it. Effect 1. Scales fall Jrom 
EyeSy and Sight is received in consequence. 

In the historical narrative, the effect is as complete 
as it is remarkable. Fall frmn his eyes a portion of 
matter of the nature or resemblance of scales : where- 
upon he receives sight forthwith. 

In the supposed oratorical account, whatsoever had 
been meant by scales, nothing is said of them. Nei- 
ther is the declaration made of the completeness of 
the case quite so explicit. One look he gave — ^gave to 
his wonder-working surgeon — and instead of its being 
given forthwith — ^to give this one look required, it. 
should seem, if not a whole hour, at any rate so little 
less, that any time less than an hour could not — (such« 
in this supposed unpremeditated speech, was the an- 
xiety felt for correctness)— <ould not be ventured to 
be particularized. 

The more closely these scales, or things resembling 
scales, are looked at, the more difficult will it be to fihd 
them amount to any thing. In no cure, performed up« 

* Acts viii. 13 to 24. 

34 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts-Improbable^ Sfc. 

on eyes in any natural way, in these our days — ^upon 
eyes that have lost their sight — do any scales £all off» 
or any thing in any degree resembling scales ; — in no 
disorder of the eyes, known to have place in these 
our days, do scales, or any thing like scales, come 
over the eyes. By the taking of matter from the eyes, 
sight, it is true, is every now and then restored : but 
this matter is not matter, foreign in relation to the eye 
and exterior to it ; but one of the component parts 
called humours of the eye, which, by losing its trans- 
parency having suspended the faculty of vision, is let 
out by a lancet ; whereupon not only is the faculty of 
sight restored, but the part which had been extirpated 
restored likewise j and without any expence in the 
article of miracles. 

On the supposition of falsity,— quere the use of this 
circumstance ? Anstver. To afford support to the 
conception, that memory and not imagination was the 
source from which the story was derived. True it is, 
that, instead of support, a circumstance exposed to 
contradiction would be an instrument of weakness : if» 
for example, on the supposition that Paul had no com- 
panions on the road, names indicative of really exist- 
ing and well-known persons had been added, to the 
intimation given in the^er/^, of the existence of such 
companions. But to no such hazard was the story of > 
the scales exposed : not to any great danger, on the 
supposition of the existence of PauFs Ananias : not 
to any danger at all, upon the supposition of his non- 

But, upon this occasion, now again once more pre- 
sent themselves — present themselves to the mind's eye 
— PauFs companions. That they were blinded at all 
can scarcely, it has been seen, be believed, if on this 
matter the historian himself is believed. For, per Acts 
ix. 8, ** they led him by the handf' so, per Paul !•» 
Actsxxii. 1 1, *• When 1 could not see for the glory of 

§. 4. Anania^s Visii to Paul ai Damascus. 35 

*' that light, being led by the hand of those that were 
^' with me^ I came unto Damn cus." But if, notwith- 
standing so it was that ikey too were blinded, — ^how 
was it with their eyes ? Had their eyes scales upon 
them ? did these scales ever fell off? — ^if so, by what 
means were they made to fall off? their evidence would 
have been not much,if any thing, less impressive,-— and 
it would have been much less open to suspicion, — than 
Paul's evidence, supposing him to have spoken of these 
scales — ^which the histonap, to whom, if he is to be 
believed, their existence is so well known, did not take 
upon him to represent Paul as saying that he did. But 
if so it was, that^ though rendered blind as PauFs^ no 
scales were superinduced upon, nor consequently made 
to fedl off, the eyes of those nameless and unknown 
persons, — ^how came they to be superinduced upon 
and made to fall off from the eyes of their singularly 
favoured principal ? If, for a length of time more or 
less considerable, they really were made blind, — ^it was, 
if the historian is to be believed, by the same cause 
by which, in the instance of PauFs eyes, this same ef- 
fect was produced : — ^the same cause, to wit an extra* 
ordinary light at noonday. If, whatsoever was the 
matter with them, the eyes of these ordinary persons 
<*ould be set to-rights without a miracle, what need 
could there be of a miracle for the producing the same 
desirable effect in the person of this their leader or 
master, extraordinary as this same leader or master 

Topic 4.— Baptttm^-ioa* it performed? when, where, by w}um,8fc, ? 

The baptism thus spoken of — ^was it performed ? 
Yes : if you will believe the historian, speaking in his 
own. person, speaking in his own historical account : 
"And forthwith," in the first place, "Paul recovered his 
-sight ;"— then, when,^his sight having been recovered^ 
he was able to go about as usual, — he arose and was 


36 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ 8fc. 

baptized: baptized — ^that is say, as from this expression 
taken by itself any one would conclude — ^baptized, as 
soon as ne arose, to wi^ as soon as water could be fouttd 
for the purpose : that water, which his guest Ananias, 
foreknowing what was to come to pass, and what was 
to be done to make it come to pass, might naturally 
be expected to have provided, and this without any su- 
pernatural foresight : in a word, without the expense of 
any additional miracle in any shape: — ^the water being 
thus ready upon the spot, and he in equal readiness 
to administer it. 

This, according to the historian, speaking in hb 
own person : but, when the time comes for giving an 
account of the matter in the person of Paul himself, 
•—to wit in the supposed unpremeditated oratorical 
speech, — ^then,for whatever it was that stopt him, (whe- 
ther the supposed urgency of the occasion on which 
the supposed speech was supposed to be made, or any 
thing and what else,) so it is, that he ^ves not any 
such information : he leaves the matter to hang in 
doubt :^a doubt, which, down to the present day re- 
mains unsolved. 

A command to this ef&ct is spoken of as having 
been given : thus much is said. But, what is not said 
is — ^whether to this same command any or what obe- 
dience was paid. 

Thus it is that, instead of an effect which it seems de- 
sired that we should consider as being produced, what 
we see directly stated as being produced, is Jiothing 
more than a command — a command, by which, as by 
its cause, we are to suppose the effect to have been pro- 
duced. What is more, in the same blind way, is inti- 
mation riven us, of another and very diflerent effect — 
the washing away ofsins-^^Bs if produced by the first- 
mentioned physical operation ;— -namely, by that of a 
man's being dipt in, or sprinkled with, water: and thus 
it is, that from a mere physical operation of the most 

^ 4* jinamfUts Visit to Paul at DamMcus^ 37 

tiini^ iUtfuret w^ itre called upon to infer a spiritual and 
sv^natumj ^Skct of the most awful importance ; the 
spiritual effbct stated as if it were product by the phy- 
sical (^ration^ to which it has no perceptible real rela- 
tion — ^nothing but the mere verbal cme thus given to 
it ; produced by it, and following it^ as of course — just 
as it sins were a spedes of dirt, which, by washing, 
could as surely be got off as any other dirt. 

And was he then really baptized ? If so he was, 
then also it speaking in the person of his hero, the 
historian is to be believed,-*«then also, by this cere- 
mony, the name of the Lord bdng at the same time 
called upon^ — then also were his ^ins washed away ; 
his sins washed away ; the sinner, therefore and there- 
by, put into the same case as if the sins had not any of 
them been ever committed. How can it be under- 
stood otherwise ? for if, in and by this passage, intima- 
tion-— sufficiently perfect information — is given, that 
the ceremony was performed — then also is sufficiently 
perfect information given, that such was the effect ac- 
tually produced by it* "Arise** (Ananias is made to 
say) — *^ Arise and be bapii%edy and wash aioay thy 
'< sins^ calling an ike name of the Lord.'" 

This is no light matter : if so it really were, that 
according to the religion of Jesus, by such a cause, 
such an effect was on that occasion prq^uced ; — that 
such effect could, in a word, on any occasion, in any 
case be produced,«-that jnurders, or (not to embarrass 
the question with conceits of local jurisprudence) kill* 
ings of men — killings of men by persecution carried 
on, on a religious account — slaughters of Christians 
by non-Christians— «ould thus, as in Paul's case, be 
divested of all guilt, at any rate of all jpunishment, at 
^e hands of Almighty Justice ; — if impunity could 
indeed be thus conferred by the sprinkling a man 
with water or clipping him in it, then would it be mat- 
ter of serious consideration — not only what is the t;^- 
rity of that religion, but what the usefulness of it. 

38 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable, 8fc. 

what the usefulness — with reference to the present I^ 
at any rate, not to speak of a life to come: what the 
usefulness of it; and on what ground stands its claim 
to support by all the powers of factitious punishment 
and factitious reward, at the hands of the temporal ma* 
gistrate *. 

Topic B.^^Pefformance of the Promise, supposed to haoe been made 
by the Lord, in favour of Paul, to Ananias, 

If the supposed promise is inadequate to the occa* 
sion, the supposed performance is still more inade- 
quate with reference to the promise* 

In the supposed promise are two distinguishable 
parts, and in neither of them is the one thing need- 
ful to be found. Of these two parts, the only one in 
which in any direct stage the matter of a promise is 
contained, is the one last mentioned : it is the pro- 
mise to show him, (Paul,) what sufferings he will have 
to undergo in the course of the career, whatever it is, 
in which he is about to engage: to wit, in name and 
profession, the preaching the religion of Jesus : " for 
" I will show him" (says the Lord, according to the his- 
torian) — *^ I will show him how great things he must 
" suffer for my name^s sake.** If so it was, that upon 
this promise, such as it is, performance never follow- 
ed, the regret for the failure need not be very great. 
Whatsoever were the sufferings that he was predes- 
tined to undergo, that which was not in the nature 
of this foreshowing, was — the lessening their aggre- 

* Since what is in the text was written^ roaturer thoughts have 
suggested an interpretation, b^ which, if received, the sad infe- 
rences presented by the doctrine, that misdeeds, and consequent 
suffering that have had place, could by a dip into a piece of 
water be caused never to nave happened, may oe repelled. Ac- 
cording to this interpretation, the act of being baptized— >the bo- 
dily act — is one thing } an act of washing away the sine— 4he spi- 
xitual act — another. The effect produced is*— n<n the causing the 
misdeeds and sufferings never to have had place, but the causing 
them to be compensated for, by acts productive of enjoyment, or of 
saving in the article of suffering, to an equal or greater amount. 

^. 4, Ananias^s Visit to Paul at Damascus, 30 

gate amount ; that which was in the nature of it was 
— the making an addition to that same afflicting ag« 
gr^ate ; to wit, by constant and unavoidable antici* 
pation of the approach of such sufferings. 

Of this talk, vague as it is, about sufferings, the 
obvious enough object was — ^the giving exaltation to 
the idea meant to be conveyed of the merits of the 
hero: — ^an object, which, by this and other means, has 
accordingly, down to the present day, in no small de- 
gree been accomplished. So much as to sufferings : 
as to enjoyments, by any idea entertained of the enjoy- 
ments derived by him from the same source, this de- 
sign would have been-— not promoted, but counteract- 
ed. But, when the time arrives, whether the mass of 
suffering was not, to no small amount, overbalanced by 
that of his enjoyments — meaning always worldly suf- 
ferings and worldly enjoyments — the reader will be left 
to judge. 

Here then we have the only promise, which In any 
direct way is expressed :— a promise which, in the first 
place would have been useless, in the n^t place worse 
than useless. 

Topic 6.— Jndireci Ptimue^ thai Paul ihall spread the Name of 


In the whole substance of this promise^ if there be 
any thing, which, with reference to the professed end- 
to wit the giving extension to the religion of Jesus- 
would have been of use, it is in the foregoing part 
that it must be looked for. In this part then, if there 
be any such matter to be found, it will be this : to 
wit, a promise that he (Paul) shall bear, and therefore 
that he shall be enabled to bear, the name of the 
Lord, to wit, the name of Jesus, before the classes 
of persons specified, to wit the Gentiles, and kings, 
and children of Israel : Acts ix. 15. But, only in an 
indirect way is this solely material part^of the promise 
expressed : *• He is a chosen vttssel unto me, to bear 

40 Cb. I. Conversion Accounts — improbabie, 8fc. 

my name,** &c. t. e. When I chose him, it was my 
design that he should do so. But, in the case of the 
Lord, according to the picture drawn of him by this 
historian, how very inconclusive evidence indention is 
of execution^ there will, in the course of this work» 
have been abundant occasion to see. 

Bear the name of Jesus ? so far, so good« But for 
this function no such special and supernatural com- 
mission was necessary : without any such commis- 
sion, the name of Jesus had been borne to the peo- 
ple at large, if in this particular the Gospel history b 
to be believed. Luke ix. 49, 50 : " And John . an- 
*' swered and said, * Master, we saw one casting out 
'* devils in thy name : and we forbad him, because he 
*' followed not with us/ 50. And Jesus said unto him» 
*' ' Forbid him not, for he that is not against us, is for 
•* us/ ** How inadequate soever^ with reference to the 
professed end, to wit the giving extension to the reli- 
gion of Jesus, the promise was perfectly adequate, and 
conimensurate, to what we shall find to be Paul's real 
design ; to wit, the planting a Gospel of his own, as, 
and for, and instead of, the Gospel of Jesus. The 
Gospel of Jesus was the Gospel of Jesus : and the 
Gospel, which, availing himself of the name of Jesus, 
it was PauFs design and practice to preach, was, as 
he himself declares, — ^as we sliall see him declaring 
in the plainest and most express terms,^ — ^a Gospel of 
his own ; a Gospel which was not the Gospel of the 
Apostles, and which, for fear of its being opposed by 
thiem, he kept studiously concealed from those confi- 
dential servants and real associates of Jesus, as may 
be seen in the following passages : Gal. i. ver. 9, 1 1, 
and 12 J " As we said before, so say I now again, If any 
•* man preach any other Gospel unto you, than that ye 
•* have received, let him be accursed. — But I certify 
** you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached 
" of me is not srfter man.— For I neither received it of 

^.4* Ananias's flsU to Pdul at Damascus. 41 

'^ man, neither was I taught it but by the revdation 
*^ of Jesus Christ.** Gal. ii. ver. 2 : *' And I went up 
'' hy revelation, and communicated unto them that 
'^ Uospel which I preach among the Gentiles ; but 
** privately to them which were of reputation, lest by 
^ any means, I should run, or had run, in vain.** 

In the course of PkuFs dialogue with the voice on 
the road—^bat voice which we are given to understand 
was the Lord*s, u e. Jesus*s— the promise supposed to 
be made to Paul, it must be remembered, wa&— 4he 
promise to tell him, when in the city, what he was to 
do. *^ What thou must do,** says the historian in his 
historical account :^-** all things which are appointed 
for thee to do,'* says the historian in the supposed un- 
premeditated omtorical account, which, in this so often 
mentioned first of the speeches, he is supposed by the 
historian to have delivered. 

Among all these things,— one thing, which it is ma^ 
nifestly the design of the historian, as it was that of 
his hero, to make men believe, was accomplished : to 
wit, the satisfying them what was the religious doc* 
trinei, for the dissemination of winch the esqiense of 
this miracle was incurred. This, moreover, is the pro- 
mise ; which, in the reading of the story, every body 
looks for : this too is the promise, which, in the read- 
it^ of this same story, the believers in the religion of 
Jeais have. very generally been in the habit of consi- 
dering as performed. Not in and by this history, how-* 
evar, will they have any such satisfaction, when the 
matter comes to be looked into. For, in respect of 
this information, desirable a sit is, — ^Paul is, in this 
strangely supposed intercourse, put off — put off to 
anot^r time and place : put off, for no reason given, 
nor for any substantial reason that can be imagined. 
FVirther on, when a show of performing the promise 
comes to be made^ then, instead of accomplishment, 
we have more evasion. Instead of furnishing the in- 

42 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ ifc. 

formation to Paul himself — ^to Fkul directly — (for, 
when the time and place for performance comes, per- 
formance—what the Lord is not supposed so much 
as to profess to do), what he professes to do is-^to 
make the communication to this man, who (his ex* 
istence being supposed) was an utter stranger to Paul 
•«-4iamely to this Ananias. Well, and for the convey* 
ing the information, in this indirect and inadequate 
way— >for conveying it to and through this same Ana« 
nias — ^what is done?«— as we have seen, what amounts 
to nothing. 

When, for affording the information— had any in- 
formation been intended to be afforded — ^the time and 
place are come ; when Ananias and Paul have been 
brought together; what is it that, from the information 
afforded us by the historian (we are to. understand) 
passed? Answer^ that, after the scales had fallen from 
his eyes, Paul was baptized ; that he ate meat, and 
that after he liad eaten meat he was strengthened: 
strengthened, we are warranted to suppose, by the meat 
which he had so eaten. Moreover, that somehow or 
other, in this large city he was certain days— number 
not specified, — ^with certain disciples — neither names 
nor number specified, — and preached Christ in the 
synagogues, saying that he was the son of Grod. 

Thus far then we are got ; and, of the supposed re* 
velation, in all this time nothing revealed. Promises, 
put-offs, evasions-^and, after all, no performance. 

Among the purposes of this work, is the satisfying 
the reader — ^not only that Paul received not any reve- 
lation from the Almighty; but that, even upon his own 
showing, never did he receive any such revelation : 
that, on pretence of his having received it from the 
Almighty by a special revelation, he preached indeed 
a certain doctrine ; but that this doctrine was partly 
one of his own, contrary to that of Jesus*s apostles, 
and therefore contrary to tliat of Jesus : and that, in 

^.4. Ananias s Visit to Paul at Damascus. 43 

the way of revelation, he never did receive any thing ; 
neither that doctrine of his own which he preached, 
nor any thing else. 

Topic 7^'^Doctriue, Muppoied to be preached by Paul at Damascm 

in the synagoguei. 

Straightway, if the historian is to be believed; — 
straightway after being strengthened by the meat ;— 
und straightway after he had passed the certmn days 
with the disciples ; — then did Paul preach Christ in 
the synagogues — ^preach that he b the son of God 
(ver. 20). 

^- Here, had he really preached in any such places — 
here would have been the time, and the best time, for 
telling us what, in pursuance of the supposed revela- 
tion, he preached. For, whatever it was, if any things 
that he ever learnt from his supposed revelation, it 
was not till he had learnt it, till he made thb necessary 
acquisiti(Hi, that the time for beginning to preach in 
the synagogues in question or anywhere else was come. 
And, no sooner .had he received it, than then, when 
it was fresh in his memory — then was the time for 
preaching it. But, never having received anv such 
thing as that which he pretended, and which the his- 
torian has made so many people believe, he received,-— 
no such thing had he to preach at any time or place. 

Whatever of that nature he had had, if he had had 
at any time, Damascus was not the piace^ at any rate 
at that time, for him to preach it, or any thing else, in 
synagogues — in any receptacle so extensively open to 
the public eye. 

Preach, in the name of Jesus — in the name of that 
Jesus, whose disciples, and with them lyhose religion, 
he now went thither with a commission to extermi- 
nate,— preach in that name he could not, without 
proclaiming his own rebellion — his own perfidy; — his 
own rebellion, against the authorities, from which« at 
his own solicitation^ the commission so granted to 

44 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ tfc. 

him had been obtained : — his ovm perfidious contempt 
-—not only of those Jerusalem rulers, but of those Da- 
mascus authoritiesi from whom, for that important 
and cruel purpose, he was sent to receive instruction 
and assistance. At some seven-and-twenty years di- 
stance in the field of time, and at we know not what 
distance in the field of space, probably that between 
Rome and Damascus, it was as easy for the historian 
to affirm the supposed preaching, as to deny it : but, 
as to the preaching itself, whether it was within the 
bounds of moral possibility^ let the reader judge. 

Topic Sr-^Suppoaed Amazement of the People of Damascus at this 
Pauts supposed preaching of Christ in the Synagogues 

Had there really been any such preaching, well 
might have amazement followed it. But there was no 
sudi preaching, therefore no such amazement. Had 
there been real preaching, and real amazement pro- 
duced by it— what would have been the subject of 
the amazement ? Not so much the audacity of the 
preacher — for madmen acting singly are to be seen in 
but too great freauency : not so much the audacity of 
the speaker, as the supineness of the constituted au- 
thorities; for, madmen acting in bodies in the charac- 
ter of public functionaries have never yet been visible. 
And if any such assemblage was ever seen, many such 
would be seen, before any one could be seen, whose 
madness took the course of sitting still, while an of- 
fender against their authority, coming to them single 
and without support, — neither bringing with him sup- 
port, nor finding it there,— continued, at a public 
meeting, preaching against them, and setting their 
authority at defiance. 

Tone 9j^MaUer of the Retjelatkm, which, in and by the supposed 
unpremeditated Oratorical Account, is supposed to have 
been made. 

Forgetting what, as we have seen, he had so lately 

^. 4. Ananias^s f^isii to Paul ai Damascus. 45 

been saying in his own person — ^in the person of Paul, 
«— he on this occasion, returns to the subject ; and 
more evasive is the result. 

On this occasion — tliis proper occasion— -what is it 
that he, Paul, takes upon hun to give an account of.—* 
That which the Lord had revealed to him ?— revealed, 
communicated in the supernatural way of revelation, 
to him — ^PiBiul ? No ; but that which, according to 
him, — if he, and through him the historian, is to be 
believed, — the Lord communicated to Ananias con- 
cerning him — ^PauU. The Almighty having minded 
to communicate something to a man, and yet not 
communicating to that man any part of it, but com- 
municating the whole of it to another ! What a pro- 
ceeding tAis to attribute to the Almigh^^ and upon 
such evidence ! 

Still we shall see, supposing it communicated, and 
from such a source communicated — ^still we shall see 
it amounted to nothing : to nothing — always excepted 
the contradiction to what, in relation to this subject, 
had, by this same historian, been a little before as- 

Observe what were the purposes, for which, by this 
Ananias, Paul is supposed to be made to understand, 
that God — the God (says he) of our fathers — ^bad 
chosen him. 

1. Purpose the first — " To know his will/* His will, 
respecting what ? If respecting any thing to the great 
purpose here, in question, respecting the new doctrine 
which, to this Paul, to the exclusion of the Apostles 
of Jesus, is all along supposed to have been revealed. 
Of no such doctrine is any indication any where in 
these accounts to be found. 

2. Purpose the second — *' And sec this just one.** 
Meaning, we are to understand, the person all along 
spoken of under the name of the Lord; to wit 
Jesus. But, in the vision in question, if the histo- 

46 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts— improbable; Sfc. 

rian is to be believed, no Jesus did Paul see. All that 
he saw was a light, — an extraordinary strong light at 
mid-day; so strong, that after it, till the scales fell from 
his eyes, he saw not any person in any place: and this 
light, whatever it was, was seen by all that were with 
him, as well as by him. 

3, Purpose the third — " And shouldest hear the 
voice of his mouth." Oh ! yes ; if what the historian 
says in that other place is to be believed — hear a voice 
he did ; and if the historian is to be again believed, that 
voice was the Lord's. But, by hearing this voice, how 
was he distinguished ? those that were with him, ac- 
cording to the historian's own account, heard it as 
well as he. And what was he the wiser ? This ako^ 
it is hoped, has been rendered sufficiently visible — just 

Purpose the fourth and last — " Thou shalt be his 
*• witness (the Lord's mtness), of every thing thou 
*^ hast seen and heard :" — ^that is, of that which was 
nothing, and that which amounted to nothing. 
' Unhappily, even this is not all : for, before the sub- 
ject is concluded, we must go back and take up onoe 
more the supposed premeditated and studied speech, 
which, on the second occasion, the self-constituted 
Apostle is supposed to have made to the Sub-king of 
the Jews, Agrippa, sitting by the side of his superior 
—the Roman Proconsul, Festus. 

In the course of this long-studied speech, — to whom, 
is the communication, such as it is, — to whom, in an 
immediate way, and without the intervention of any 
other person, is it supposed to be made ? Not to Ana- 
nias ; — not to any such superfluous and unknown per- 
sonage; — not to Ananias, but to P^ul himself: viz. 
to the very person by whom this same communica- 
tion, supposed to have been made to him, is supposed 
to be reported (Acts xxvi. 16 to 18) : to ibis princi- 
pal, or rather, only person concerned :— to this one 

^.4. yinanias^s f^isii to Paulni Damascu. 47 

person, the communication, such as it is, and to him 
the wtu>le of it at once, is supposed to be made. 

Here then is this Ananias discarded :--discarded 
with this ^sion of his, and that other vision which 
we have seen within it : the communication, which, 
speaking in the first place in his own person,^-«nd 
then, on one occasion, in the person of thb same 
hero of his— the historian had just been declaring, was 
made— ^lot to Pbul, but to Ananias; — this all-import^ 
ant communication, speaking again in this same third 
person, but on another occasion— the discourse being 
supposed to be a long-studied one — he makes this 
same Paul declare, was given — not to any Ananias, 
not to any other person — ^but directly to him, Pbul, 

Let us now see what it amounts to. In the most 
lo^cal manner, it begins with declaring the purposes 
it IS made for ; and, when the purposes are declared, 
all that it does is done. Ver. 16. " Uut now : rise, and 
** stand upon thy feet ; for I have appeared unto thee 
'* for this purpose.** • • • .In this purpose are several 
parts : let us look into them one by one. 

1. Part I. '< To make thee (says the Lord) a mi- 
*^ nister and a witness, both of these things which 
'^ thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I 
" will appear unto thee.** But, as to the things which 
he had seen, by this same account they amounted to 
nothing but a glare of light. Here then was the 
light to bear witness ofy if it was worth while : byt, as 
to the tnimstering^ here was nothing at all to mi« 
nister to : for the light was past, and it required no 
ministering to, when it was present. Had it been the 
light of a lamp— yes ; but there was no lamp in the case 

Thus much, as to these things which he had seen. 
Thereupon comes the mendon of those things <' in 
** the which (the Lord is supposed to say) I will appear 
" unto thee !'* Here, as before, we have another put- 

48 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable, 8fc. 

off. If, in the way in question, and of the sort in 
question, there had been any thing said, here was the 
time, the only time, for saying it. For immediately 
upon the mention of this communication, such as it 
is, follows the mention of what was due in conse- 
quence of it, in obedience to the commands supposed 
to be embodied in it, and by the light of the informa- 
tion supposed to be conveyed by it " Whereupon 
" (says be). King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to 
" the heavenly vision. • . •** 

Part 2. The purpose continued. — " Delivering 
" thee from the people^ and from the Gentiles, unto 
" whom I now send thee.*' This, we see, is but a con- 
tinuation of the same put-off: no revelation, no doc- 
trine, no Gospel here. As to the doctrine — ^the Go- 
spel — that Gospel which he preached, and which he 
said was his own, no such Gospel is on this occasion 
given to him ; and, not being so much as reported to 
have been given to him on any other occasion, was it 
not therefore of his own making, and without any such 
supernatural assistance, as Christians have been hi- 
therto made to believe was given to him ? 

As to the deliverance from the people and from the 
Gentiles, this is a clause, put in with reference to the 
dangers, into which the intemperance of his ambition 
had plunged him, and from whence in part it had 
been his lot to escape. Here then the sub-king and 
his Roman superior were desired to behold the accom- 
plishment of a prophecy : but the prophecy was of 
that sort which came after the fact. — ** Unto whom 
now I send thee**. ... In this they were desired to see 
a continuation of the prophecy : for, as to this point, it 
was, in the hope of the prophet, of the number of those, 
which not only announce, but by announcing contri- 
bute to, their own accomplishment. 

Part 3. The purpose continued. — " To open their 
*' eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and 

^. 4. Ananias s Visit to Paul at Damascus. 40 

'' from the power of Satan unto God.**. . . . Still the 
same nothingness: to his life's end a man might be 
hearing stories such as these, and still at the end of 
it be none the wiser : — no additional doctrine — no ad« 
ditional gospel — no declaration at all — no gospel at 
all«— here. 

Part 4. The purpose continued and concluded. 
....'' that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and 
** inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith 
that is in me.** Good. But this is not doctrine ; this 
is not gospel ; this is not itself the promised doctrine 2 
but it is a description of the effect, of which the pro- 
misfHl doctrine was to be the cause. 

Now it is, as we have just seen, that Paul is repre- 
sented as commencing his preaching, or sallying forth 
upon his mission ; preaching, from ifistructions receiv- 
ed in a supernatural way— received by revelation. Yet, 
after all, no such instructions has he received. Thrice 
has the historian— once in his own person, twice in tliat 
of his hero — undertaken to produce those instructions. 
But by no one, from first to last, have they any where 
been produced. 

Truly, then, of his own making was this Gospel 
which Patil went preaching ; of his own making, as 
well as of his own using ; that Gospel, which he him- 
self declares to his Galatians was not of man, was not, 
therefore, of those Apostles, to whom the opposition 
made by him is thus proclaimed. 

When, after having given in his own person ai^ 
account of a supposed occurrence, — ^an historian, on 
another occasion, takes up the same occurrence ; and, 
in the person of another individual, gives of that same 
occurrence another account different from, and so dif- 
ferent from, as to be irreconcileable with it ; can this 
historian, with any propriety, be said tor be himself a 
believer in this second account which he thus gives ? 
Instead of giving it a^ a true account, does he not, at 


50 Ch, I. Conversion Aceounts-^improbabk^ 8fc. 

any rate, in respect of all the several distinguishable 
circumstances in which it differs from the account 
given in his own person — give it in the character of a 
fable ? a fable invented on the occasion on which the 
other person is supposed to 4>^ak — invented in the 
intent that it shall promote the purpose for which this 
speech is supposed to be made ? Yet this account, 
which in the eyes of the very man by whom it is de- 
livered to us, is but a fable, even those to whom in this 
same character of a fable it is delivered — ^this account 
it is that Christians have thus long persisted in regard- 
ing, supporting, and acting upon, as if it were from 
beginning to end, a truth — a great body of truth ! — O 
Locke! O Newton ! where was your discernnMnt! 

On such evidence would any Judge fine a man a 
shilling ? Would he give effect to a claim to that 
amount ? Yet such is the evidence, on the fafelief of 
which the difference between happiness and misery, 
botb in intensity as well as duration, infinite, we are 
told, depends ! 

Vision III. — ^Paul's anterior vision, as reported 


By the nature of the acts which are the objects of it, the 
command, we see, is necessarily pregnant with infor- 
mation : but now comes the information given as such 
r-the piece of information with which the command 
is followed. This information — ih and by which an« 
other, an aoitecedent vision, is brought upon the car- 
pet, and communicated — has been reserved for a se- 
parate consideration. 

This information is in its complexion truly curious: 
to present a clear view of it, is not an altogether easy 
task. The information thus given by the Lord — given 
to this Ananias — this information, of which Paul is 

§. 6, PauVs anterior Vision. 51 

the subject, is — what ? that, on some former occa- 
sion (neither time nor place mentioned), he, Ananias,* 
to whom the Lord is giving the information, had been 
seen by this same Paul performing, with a certain in- 
tention, a certain action ; the intention being — that, 
in relation to this same Paul, a certain effect should 
be produced-— to wit, that of his receiving his sight. 
The Lford declares, Acts ix. 12, to Ananias, that Paul 
^* had seen in a vision a man (Ananias himself) 
*' coming and putting his hand on him, that he (Paul) 
" might receive his sight.** 

Well then — this action which the Lord thus informs 
Ananias that he, Ananias, had performed, — did he, at 
anytime and place, ever perform it ? Oh no ; that is not 
necessary : the question is not a fair one ; for it was 
only in a vision that it was performed. Well then — 
if St was only in a vision* that it was performed, then, 
in reality, it was never performed. The Lord said that 
it had been performed ; but in so saying the Lord had 
said that which was not true. The Lord had caused 
iiim to believe this — ^the Lord knowing all the while 
that it was not true. Such is the deed, which, accord- 
ing to our historian, the Lord relates himself to have 

But the intention^ was that true ? Oh no ; nor was 
there any need of its being so : for the intention, with 
which the act was supposed to be performed, was part 
tind parcel of the divinely-taught untruth. 

The effect, the production of which had been the 
object of the intention, was it then — ^had it then been 
-^produced ? Wait a little; no, not at that time. But 
the time was not then as yet come ; and now it is 
coming apace. 

Bttt this effect — ^what is it .^ a man*s receiving his 
sight ; this same PauFs receiving his sight ; this same 
Piiul, of whom Ananias knew nothing, n(Nr had ever 
benrd'any thing, except what he had just been hear* 


52 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable, 8fc. 

ing— to wit, that, by a man of that name, he, Ananias, 
had once been seen — seen to do so and so— :he, all the 
while — he, the doer, knowing nothing of what he was 
doing— ^knowing nothing at all about the matter. How- 
ever, only in a vision did all this pass ; which being the 
case, no proper subject of wonder was afforded to him 
by such otherwise somewhat extraordinary ignorance. 

But this sight — which, at the hands of this seer of 
visions, to whom this information is thus addressed, 
this stranger, whose name was still Saui, was to re- 
ceive — how happened it that it was to him, Ananias, 
that he came to receive it ? This faculty — at hisbirth, 
was he not, like any other man, in possession of it ? 
If he was, what was become of it ? In this particular, 
the information thus supposed to have been given by 
Omniscience, was rather of the scantiest. 

Supposing the story to have any foundation in truth, 
— such, to Ananias, it could not but have appeared ; 
and, supposing him bold enough to ask questions, or 
even to open his mouth, a question, in the view of 
finding a supply for the deficiency, is what the asser- 
tion would naturally have for its first result. No such 
curiosity, however, has Ananias : instead of .seeking 
at the hands of Omniscience an information, the de- 
mand for which was so natural, the first use he makes 
of his speech (or rather would have made of it, i^ in- 
stead of being imagined in a vision, the state of things 
in question had been true,) is — the furnishing to Om- 
niscience a quantity of information of a sort in no 
small degree extraordinary. For, hereupon begins a 
speech, in and by which Ananias undertakes to give 
Omniscience to understand, what reports, in relation 
to this same Paul, had reached his (Ananias*s) ears. 
What he is willing thus to speak /is more, however, 
than Omniscience is willing to hear: the story is 
cut short, and the story-teller bid to *' go his way.** 
•• Then Ananias" (says the text. Acts ix* 13.) •* Then 

^. 5. PauTs anterior f^ision. 53 

*' Ananias answered. Lord, I have heard by many of 
** this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints 
" at Jerusalem. i4» And here he hath authority from 
*' the Chief Priests to bind all that call on thy name. 
" 15. But the Lord said unto him. Go thy way; 
"for. •.."&€. 

But, though thus cut short, he is far from being in 
disgrace. So far from it, that he is taken into confi- 
dence. Then come8*--stiH in a vision, and the same 
vision — information of the till thSn secret acts and 
intentions of Omnipotence in relation to this same 
Paul : he had actually been " chosen" as " a vessel to 
*' bear the Lord*s name before the Gentiles, and kings, 
*' and the children of Israel :** and the determination 
had been taken (says the Lord in this vision) *' to 
** show him how great things he must suffer for my 
** name*s sake.** " For I will show him (says the Acts, 
** ix. 16,) how great things be must suffer for my name*s 
'* sake.*' And, with the announcement thus made of 
this determination, the historical account, thus by the 
historian in his own person given, of this same vision, 

Thus highly distinguished, and favoured with a con^^ 
fidence, equalling, if not surpassing, any which, ac- 
cording to any of the Gospel accounts, appears ever 
to have been imparted to any one of the Apostles, 
how (X)mes it that Ananias has never been put in the 
number of the Saints ? meaning always the Calendar 
<S(8tit/iff-— those persons to wit, who, as a mark of dis* 
tinction and title of honour, behold their ordinary 
names preceded by this extraordinary one .^ Still the an- 
swer is : Aye, but this was but in vision : and of a vi- 
sion one use is — ^that of the matter of which all that 
there is not a use for, is left to be taken for false ; all that 
there is a use for, is taken, and is to pass, for true. 
When, by the name of Ananias, who, humanly speak- 
ing, never existed but in name, the service for whidi it 

64 Ch. I. Cotwersion Accounts-^^improbabh^ 8fc. 

wa^ invented has been performed— to wit, the giving 
a support to Paul and his vision, — ^it has done sXL that 
was wanted of it : there is no further use for it. 

Supposing that thirdly mentioned vision realty 
seen, at what point of time shall we place the see- 
ing of it ? In this too there seems to be jio sn^iall 

Between the moment at which Paul is said to have 
had his vision, (if a vision that can be called in which, 
the time being m!dday, he saw nothing but a glare of 
light,)— between the moment of this vision, of which a 
loss of sight was the instantaneous consequence— be- 
tween the moment of this loss of sight and the mo^ 
ment of the recovery of it, the interval is mentioned : 
three days it was exactly. Acts ix. 9, ** And he was 
'' three days without sight, and neither did eat nor 
« drink;; 

The time during which, in verse 9, he has just been 
declared to have been the whole time without sights 
—this is the time, within which he is declared«-Hde* 
dared, if the historian is to be believed, dedaied by 
the Lord himself — to have seen this introductory vi- 
sion — ^this preparatory vision, for which it is so diffi- 
cult to find a use. And thus it is, that in a vision, 
though vision means seeing, it is not necessary a man 
should have sight. 

Meantime, of all these matters, on which his own 
existence (not to speak of the salvation of manldnd) 
so absolutely depends, not a syllable is he to know, but 
through the medium of this so perfectly obscure and 
questionable personage — this personage so completely 
unknown to him — this same Ananias* 

Three whole days he is kept from doing any thing: 
during these three whole days the business of the mi- 
racle stands still. For what purpose is it thus k^t 
at a stand ? Is it that therermight be time sufficient 
left for his learning to see, when his sight is returned^ 

^. 6. PtsionSy why two or three instead of one. 55 

this prep8ratoF)r vision, by which so little is done, and 
for which there is so little use ? 



As to the matter of fact designated by the words 
PauVs conversion, so far as regards outward conver- 
sion, the truth of it is out of all dispute : — that he was 
c&nvertedf i. e. that after having been a persecutor 
of the votaries of the new religion, he turned full 
Found, and became a leader. Whether the so illus* .< 
triously victorious efifect, had for its cause a superna-* 
tural intercourse of Paul with Jesus after his resurrec- 
tion and ascension, and thence for its accompaniment 
an inward conversion — in this lies the matter in dis-> 

From those, by whom, in it^ essential particular, 
the statement is regarded as being true, a naturid 
question may be — If the whole was an invention of 
bis. own, to what cause can we refer the other vision,, 
the vision of Ananias ? To what purpose should he 
have been at the pains of inventing, remembering, 
and all along supporting and defending, the vision of 
the unknown supposed associate ? Answer. — ^To the 
purpose, it should seem, of giving additional breadth 
to the basis of his pretensions. 

Among that people, in those times, the story of a 
vision was so common an article, — so difficultly distin- 
gubhable from, so easily confounded tvith, on the 
one hand the true story of a dream, on the other 
hand a completely false story of an occurrence, which, 
had it happened, would have been a supernatural one, 
butwhich never did happen, — that a basis, so indetermi- 

56 Ch. I. Canversiofi Accounts-^improbable, Sfc. 

nate and atrial, would seem to have been in danger of 
not proving strong enough to support the structure 
designed to be reared upon it. 

On the supposition of falsity, the case seems to be 
— that, to distinguish his vision from such as in those 
days were to b^ found among every man^s stories, as 
well as in every history, — and which, while beUeved 
by some, were disbelieved and scorned by others,—^ 
either Paul or his historian bethought himself of this 
contrivance of & pair of visions: — ^a pair of correspond- 
ing visions, each of which should, by reference and 
acknowledgment, bear witness and give support to the 
other : a pair of visions : for, for simplicity of con* 
ception, it seems good not to speak any further, of the 
antecedent vision interwoven so curiously in the tex- 
ture of one of them, after the similitude of the flower 
termed by some gardeners hose in hose. 

Of this piece of machinery, which in the present 
instance has been seen played off with such briUianf 
. success upon the theological theatre, the glory of the 
invention may, it is believed, be justly claimed, if not 
by Paul, by his historian. With the exception of 
one that will be mentioned presently *, no similar 
one has, upon inquiry, been found to present itself, in 
any history, Jewish or Gentile. 

The other pair of visions there alluded to, is — ^that 
which is also to be found in the Acts s one of tliem 
ascribed to Saint Peter, the other to the centurion 

Paul, or his historian ? — ^The alternative was but 
tbe suggestion of the first moment. To a second 
glance the claim of the historian presents itself as in- 
contestable. In the case of Peter*s pair of visions* 
suppose the story the work of invention, no assignable 
competitor has the historian for the honour of it : in 

* See Ch. xvu. §.v. 4. Peter's and Cornelius's visions. 

\ 7. Cammissianio Paul, Sfe. 57 

the case of Pauls pair of Tbions, supposing thai the 
only pair, the invention was at least as likely to have 
been the work of the historian as of the hero : add to 
this pair the other pair-^ibat other pair that presents 
itself in this same work of this same history — all com- 
petition is at an end. In the case of even the most 
fertile genius, copying is an easier task than invention : 
and, where the original is of a man*s own invention, 
copying is an operation still easier than in the oppo- 
site case. Tliat an occurrence thus curious should 
find so much as a single inventor, is a circumstance 
not" a little extraordinary: but, that two separate wits 
should jump in concurrence in the production of it, 
is a supposition that swells the extraordinariness, and 
with it the improbability, beyond all bounds. 


commission to paul by jerusalem rulers — com- 
mission to bring in bonds damascus christians 
— Paul's contempt put upon it. 

Per Acts, in the historical account, is stated the exist- 
ence of a commission: — gran ters, the Jerusalem rulers ; 
persons to whom addressed, Paul himself at Jerusa- 
lem ; and the synagogues, t. e. the rulers of the syna- 
gogues, at Damascus : object, the bringing in custody, 
ifrom Damascus to Jerusalem, all Christians found 
there: ail adult Christians at any rate, females as well 
as males ; at PauVs own desire, adds this same histo* 
rical account (ix. 2.)'; "for to be punished," adds Paul 
1® supposed unpremeditated oratorical account (xxii. 
5 .) . In the supposed premeditated oratorical account, 
Paul 2*\ the existence of authority and commission 
granted to him by the Chief Priests is indeed men- 
tioned (xxvi. 12) : but, of the object nothing is said. 

58 Ch. I. Conversion Aeeounis — mprdh^le^ 8fc. 

In the unpremeditated oratorical account, sueh is the 
boldness of the historian, nothingiwill serve him but 
to make the orator call to witness the constituted au* 
thorities-~the Jerusalem rulers — ^whoever th^ were, 
that were present, — to acknowledge the treachery and 
the aggravated contempt he had been guilty of towahk 
themselves or their predecessors : towards themselves, 
if it be in the literal sense that what on this occasion he 
says is to be understood : '' As also the High Priest 
*' doth bear me witness, and ail the estate of the Eilders, 
** fromwhom also I received letters,** &c. (Acts xxii. 5.) 
In the premeditated oratorical account, the boldness 
of the orator is not quite so prominent ; he says— >tt 
was ** with authority and commission fironH-the Chief 
Priests** at Jerusalem, that he went to Damascus; but, 
for the correctness of this statement of his, he does not 
now call upon them, or any of them, to bear witness. 

In respect of the description of the persons, of whom 
the Jerusalem rulersj exercising authority in their be- 
half, were composed, — the conformity, as between the 
several accounts, is altogether entire. In the histori- 
cal account, it is the authority of the High Priest, and 
the High Priest alone, that is exercised : in the un- 
premeditated oratorical account, it is that of the High 
Priest and all the estate of the Elders : in the preme- 
ditated account, it is that of the Chief Priests: nothing 
said either of High Priest or Elders. 

Neitlier, in the supposed unpremeditated oratorical 
account, is it stated — that, at the time and place of the 
tumult, the rulers thus called to witness, or any of them, 
were actually on the spot. But, the spot being contigu- 
ous to the Temple — the Temple, out of which Paul had 
been that instant dragged, before there had been time 
^ough for accomplishing the determination that had 
been formed for killing him, — the distance, between 
the spot, at which Paul with the surrounding multitude 
was standing, (Paul being under the momentary pro- 

^. 7. Commssivn to Paul, 8fc. 59 

tecdoii of the Roman commander) — ^betiveen this spot 
and the spot, whatever it was, at which the question 
might have been put to them, or some of thern^ could 
not be great. 

On the p&rt of the historian, the boldness, requisite 
for the ascribing the correspondent boldness to the 
orator, may be believed without much difhculty. The 
materials for writing being at hand, there was no 
more danger in employing them in the writing of 
these words, than in the writing of an equal number 
of other words. 

Not so on the part of the orator himself. For, 8up*» 
posing the appeal made, the multitude might have 
saved themselves the trouble of putting him to death : 
the constituted authorities whom he was thus invoking 
-^hose rulers, against whom, by his own confession, 
he had comrmttted this treason — would have been 
ready enough to proceed against him in the regular 
way, and take the business out of the hands of an un- 
authorized mob. 

The truth of the story, and for that purpose the 
trustworthiness of the historian, being to be defended 
at any rate, — by some people, all this contradiction, all 
this mass of self-contradiction, will of course be re- 
ferred to artlessnesSy or, to take the choice of another 
eulogistic word, to simpiieity: and, of trustworthi^ 
ness, this amiable quality, whatever may be the name 
given to it, will be stated as constituting sufficient 
proof. No such design^ as that of deceiving, inha* 
bited (it will be said) his artless bosom : no such de« 
sign was he capable of harbouring: for, supposing 
any such wicked design harboured by him, could he 
have been thus continually off his guard ? 

But — ^by M this self-contradiction, the quality really 
proved is-^not artlessness, but weakness : and, with 
the desire of deceiving, no degree of weakness, be it 
ever so high, isineompatible. By weakness, when risen 

60 Ch. I. Conversion AccomUs^mprobable^ 8fc. 

even to insanity, artfulness is not excluded : and, in 
the fashioning, from beginning to end, of all this 
story, art, we see, is by no means deficient, how un« 
happily soever applied. 

But the story being such as it is, what matters it, 
as to the credence due to it, in what state, in respect 
of probity, was the author's mind ? Being, as it b, 
to such a degree untrustworthy and incredible, as that, 
in so many parts of it, it is impossible it should have 
been true, the truth of it is impossible : what matters 
it then, whether it be to the weakness of the moral, 
or to that of the intellectual, quarter of the author^s 
mind, that the falsity is to be ascribed ? 

Not only iti the whole does this history, anony- 
mous as it is, present satisfactory marks of genuine' 
7t^^,— that is, of being written by the sort of person 
it professes to be written by, namely a person who in 
the course of Paul's last excursion was taken into his 
suite ; but in many parts, so does it of historic verity. 
True or not true, — like any other history ancient or 
modern, it has a claim to be provisionally taken for 
true, as to every point, in relation to which no ade- 
quate reason appears for the contrary : improbability 
(Cor example) of the supposed facts as related, contra* 
dictoriness to itself, contradictoriness to other more 
satisfactory evidence, or probable subjection to sinbter 
and mendacity-prompting interest. 

But, under so much self-contradiction as hath been 
seen, — whether bias be or be not considered, could 
any, the most ordinary fact, be regarded as being sui* 
ficieiitly proved ? 

Meantime, let not any man make to himself a pre- 
tence for rejecting the important position thus offered 
to his consideration ; — let hiui not, for fear of its being 
the truth, shut his eyes against that whichis presented 
to him as and for the truth ; — let him not shut his eyes, 
on any such pretence, as that of its being deficient in 

^ 8. Road Ompanions — had Paul any ? 61 

the quality of seriousness. If, indeed, there be any 
such duty, religious or moral, as that of seriousness ; 
and that the stating as absurd that which is really ab- 
surd 18 a violation of that duty ;-— at that rate, serious^ 
ness is a quality, incompatible with the delivery and 
perception of truth on all subjects, and in particular 
on this of the most vital importance: seriousness 
is a disposition to cling to falsehood, and to reject 
truth. In no part has any ridicule ab extra, as Mr. 
Bentham calls it, been employed: — ridicule, by allusion 
made to another object, and that an irrelevant one^. 



Meantime, if all these miraculous visions and other 
miracles must needs be supposed, — a cluster of other 
mirades, though not mentioned, must be supposed 
along with them: miracles, for the production of 
which a still greater mass of supernatural force must 
have been expended. Here, their existence being sup- 
posed, here were those companions of bis, who, un- 
known in names and number, saw or saw not all or 
any thing that he saw, and heard or heard not all or 
any thing that he heard. These men, at any rate, if so 
it be that they themselves, blind or not blind, led him, 
as it is said they did, into the city, because he could 
not see to guide himself, — must, in some way or other, 
have perceived that something in no small degree ex- 
traordinary had happened to him : so extraordinary, 
that, in the condition in which he was, and in which, 
if they saw any thing, they saw him to be-f-no such com? 

* See Bentbam*s Churdi ofEnglanditm examined. 

62 Ch. I. Canvemon Accounis— improbable, Sfc. 

mission, as that, for the execution of which (if, as well 
as companions, they were his destined assistants) they 
were put under his command,— could, in any human 
probability, receive execution at bis hands. If they 
were apprised of this commission of his, could th^, 
whether with his consent or even without his consent, 
avoid repairing to the constituted authorities to tell 
them what had happened ? This commission of his, so 
important in itself, and granted to a man of letters by 
men of letters, could not but have been in writing: and 
accordingly, in the form of letters we are, by the histo- 
rian,expresdy informed it was. Of the existence of these 
letters, on the tenor of which their future proceedings 
as well as his depended, — these conductors of his^ if Ae 
did not, with or without his consent would of course 
have given information, to the rulers to whom these 
same letters were addressed. Not being struck dumb, 
nor having, amongst the orders given by the voice, re- 
ceived any order to keep silence, or so much as to keep 
secret any thing of what little they had heard, thejr would 
scarcely, under these circumstances, have maintained 
either silence or secrecy. The historian, knowing what 
he (the historian) intended to do with his hero — know- 
ing that, at three days end, he intended not only to make 
sc^es fall from his eyes, but to fill his belly, — ^migfat 
not feel any great anxiety on his account. But Fkul 
himself, if he, in the condition he is represented in 
by the historian, — was, for three days together, vrith 
scales on his eyes, and nothing in his stomach ; and, 
at the end of the three days^ as ignorant as at the be- 
ginning, whether the scales would, at any time, and 
when, drop oflP, and his stomach receive a supply : 
in such a state tsurely, a man could not but feel a cu- 
riosity, not unattended with impatience, to knoiKr when 
and how all this was to end. UiMer these circum- 
stances, by some means or other, would all these 
tongues h^tve been to be stopped : 6therwise, instead of 

^.8. Road Companians — Aad Paul any? Gi 

the house of Judas in Straight-street, Paul might 
have had no other place, to receive his visitor in, than 
the town jail, or some one other of those strong places, 
into wbich visitors do not alvvays find it more easy to 
gmn entrance, than inmates to get out. 

These tongues then — PauFs tongue, his compa* 
nions* tongues*- this assemblage of tongues, all so 
strongly urged to let themselves loose — ^by what could 
they have been stopped ? If by any thing, by a cor- 
respondent cluster of miracles — nothing less. 

That, from Jerusalem, about the time in question, 
Paul went to Damascus, — ^and that it was with some 
such letters in his possession, — seems, as will be seen 

Eresently, altogether probable ; — ^also, that when there, 
e acted in the way his historian speaks of, betraying 
the confidence reposed in him by the constituted au* 
thorities, and joining with those whom he had soli- 
cited and received a commission to destroy; — that 
these were among the circumstances of his alleged con- 
version, seems probable enough : — ^though he, with aU 
the need he had of miracles (if any were to be had), 
gives not — ^in what he himself, writing to his Galatian 
converts, says of his conversion— any the slightest 
hint c^them. 

As to his conversion — meaning his ouiward con- 
version, which was all that was necessary to the pro- 
duetion of the effect so notoriously produced by aim 
— to that (it will be seen) no miracle was necessary: 
nothing but what belonged to the ordinary course 
of things. As to companions on the journey — whe« 
ther he had any or not; and if he had any, whether 
they were attendants on his orders, or acquaintances 
of his not under his orders ; or mere strangers into 
whose company accident threw him-*-aU this we must 
satisfy ourselves, as well as we can, under the igno- 
rance of. 
That, for giving effect, by his means, to the sort of 

64 Ch. L Cofiversion Accounts — improbable, Sfc. 

commission he went entrusted with, the power of lo- 
cal authorities was trusted to» is a supposition altoge- 
ther natural. For bringing to Jerusalem '' bound, for 
" to be punished (Acts ix. 2. xxii, 4), all the Christians 
<^ that could be found in Damascus, both men and wo- 
** men/' if the Damascus rulers were favourable to the 
persecuting design, no large force from Jerusalem 
could be needful. Even a small one would be super- 
fluous : and, by a force, great or small, sent from the 
one set of constituted authorities, a slight would be 
shown to the other. 



Of Paul's outward conversion — conversion from the 
character of an authorized persecutor of the religion 
of Jesus, to that of a preacher of a religion preached 
in the name of Jesus — such, as we have seen, is the 
account given in the Acts ; given by the author of the 
Acts, and by him alone. For, what ought never to be 
out of mind, if instead of two different accounts-*-de- 
clared by him as having been, on different occasions, 
delivered by Paul — he had given two hundred, still 
they would have been his :— not Paul's, but his. 

All this while, now for little less than 1800 years, 
from Paul's own pen we have an account of this his 
conversion : and, of any such story as that of its being 
effected through the instrumentality of visions, — ^inthis 
account of his, not any the slightest trace is to be 
found ; — not any the slightest allusion to it. 

At the time of his giving this account — supposing 
this story of the mode of his conversion true — sup- 
posing even that, though false, it had been^ot up and 

§. 9. Pauts Silence contradicts Acts^ Accounts. 65 

propagated — at the time of his giving the account 
which bears such unquestionable marks of being his, 
was the occasion such as to render it probable, that he 
could thus have omitted all allusion, to an occurrence 
at once so extraordinary and so important ? If not, 
then so it is — that, by the silence of P&ul himself, the 
story related by his historian is virtually contradicted. 

The occasion here in view is— that of his writing 
the so often mentioned, and so often about to be men- 
tioned. Epistle to his Galatian disciples. 

At the time of his writing this letter, so we shall 
have occasion to see over and over again in the tenor 
of it, he was acting in opposition — declared and vio- 
lent opposition — to the Apostles: struggling with 
them for the mastery; declaring that to them he 
was not beholden for any thing ; — that the Gospel he 
preached was not their Gospel, but a Gospel of his 
own, received by him directly from Jesus ; — ileclaring, 
that in Jerusalem itself, the seat of their authority, 
he had preached this Gospel of his, which was not 
theirs ; but confessing, at the same time, that when 
he did so, it was in a secret manner, for fear of the 
opposition, which he well knew, had they known of it, 
they could not but have made to it. 

In this state of contention — supposing any such 
miracle as that in question wrought in his favour—^ 
was it in the nature of the case that he should have 
failed to avail himself of it ? — to avail himself of the ac- 
count which the truth — the important truth — would 
have so well warranted him in giving of it ? Suppo- 
sing it true, had there at that time been witnesses to it 
— «ny percipient witnesses — the supposed Ananias — 
the supposed companions on the road, — would he have 
failed leaking his appeal to their testimony ? Suppo- 
sing even that there were none such left, the truth of 
the OG^iurrence — of an occurrence of such momen- 
tous ini^ortance, would it not have inspired him with 

66 Ch. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable^ 8fc. 

boldness, sufficient for the assertion of it, with all that 
intensity for which the case itself furnished so suffi- 
cient a warrant, and which the vehemence of his cha- 
racter would have rendered it so impossible for him to 
avoid ? Supposing even the story an utter falsehood^ 
yet, had it been at this time got up and promulgated, 
could he, if he saw any tolerable prospect of its obtain- 
ing credence, have failed to endeavour to avail himself 
of it? 

No, surely. Yet, in this his address, made to hisGala^ 
tian disciples, and to all such inhabitants of that coun- 
try, as he could see a prospect of numbering among his 
disciples — in this address, written under a sense of the 
necessity he was under, of making, for his support 
against the Apostles, the most plausible case his inge«* 
nuity could enable him to make, — not any, so much as 
the slightest, hint of any such miracle, does he venture 
to give. Revelation! revelation!— onthis single word — 
on the ideas, which, in the minds with which he had tp 
deal, he hoped to find associated with that word-*-on 
this ground, without any other, did he see himself 
reduced to seek support in his contest with the Apo« 
sties. Revelation.^ revelation from Jesus ? from the 
Lord, speaking from heaven ? from the Almighty ? 
On what occasion, in what place, at what time, in 
what company (if in any,) was it thus received ? To 
no one of these questions does he venture to furnish 
an answer — or so much as an allusion to an answer. 
Why? — even because he had none to give. He had been 
a persecutor of the disciples of Jesus — this he con* 
fesses and declares : he became a preacher in the name 
of Jesus — this he also declares; a preacher in the 
name of him, of whose disciples — the whole fellowship 
of them — he had been a persecutor — a blood-thirsty 
and blood-stained persecutor. His conversion, what- 
ever it amounted to, how came it about ? what was 
the cause^ the time, the plaoe> the mode of it; who 

^.9. Paul's Silence contradicts jt4cis^ AcaoufUs, 67 

the percipient mtnesses of it ? To all these questions* 
revelation ; in the single word is contained all the an- 
swer, which — ^in this letter — in this plea of his — he, 
audacious as he was, could summon up audacity enough 
to give. Why, on so pressing an occasion, this for- 
bearing ? Why ? but that, had he ventured to tell any 
such story, that story being a false one, there were his 
opponents — there were the Apostles, or men in con- 
nexion with the Apostles — to contradict it — to con- 
fute it. 

Had he made reference to any specific, to any indi- 
vidual, portion of place and time, the pretended facts 
might have found themselves in contradiction with 
some real and proveable facts. But, time as well as 
place bdng left thus unparticulartzed, — he left himself 
at liberty, on each occasion, if called upon for time or 
place, to assign what portion of time and place the 
occasion should point out to him as being most con- 
venient; — ^best adapted to the purpose of giving lodg- 
ment to an appropriate falsity ; — and without danger, 
or with little danger, of exposure. 

At distinct and different times, five interviews we 
shall see him have, with the Apostles — one or more of 
them: the first interview being, — according to his own 
account, as given in this very Epistle^ — at little if any 
thing more, than three years distance from the time 
of his quitting the occupation of persecution. Then, 
says he, it was (Gal. i. 17 and 18) that '^ I went up 
^* to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen 
" days/* In all these days, is it possible, that, if the 
conversion miracle had really taken place as stated in 
the Acts, with the companions on the road and Ana- 
nias for witnesses, — he should not have related to Pe- 
ter, and, (if not spontaneously, at any rate in answer 
to such questions as a man in Peter*^ situation could 
not fail to put,) have brought to view, every the mi- 
nutest circumstance ? This then was the time-«or at 


68 Cb. I. Conversion Accounts — improbable, 8fc.' 

least one time— of his trial, on the question^ reveia- 
tion or no ret^elaiion. Here then, when, with such 
vehemence, declaring — not his independence merely, 
but his superiority, in relation to the Apostles — and 
thai on no other ground than this alleged revelation, 
was it, bacfthe judgment in that trial been in his fa- 
vour — was it possible, that he should have omitted to 
avail himself of it ? Yet no such attempt, we see, does 
he make : — no attempt, to avail himself of the issue 
of the trial, or of any thing that passed on the occa- 
sion of it. Altogether does he keep clear of any allu- 
sion to it : and indeed, if his historian — the author of 
the Acts — is to be believed, — with very good reason : 
for^ whatever it was that, on that occasion, he said, in 
the Acts it is expressly declared that, by the disciples 
at least, he was utterly disbelieved. Acts ix. 26 : '* He 
** assayed to join himself to the disciples : but they 
'< were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was 
** a disciple. 27. But Barnabas took him and brought 
V him to the Apostles,** &c. Why it was, that, after 
the disciples had thus unanimously declared him and 
his story unworthy of credit, the Apostles gave him 
notwithstanding a sort of reception ;-— and that, by no 
countenance, which they on that occasion gave him, 
was any ground afforded, for the supposition that any 
more credence was given to him and his story, by 
them than by the disciples at large, — will be explained 
in its place. 


Outward Conversion — how produced — how planned. 



Mow flourishing the state of the church had at this 
period become, will be seen more fully in another 
place. 'Long before this period, — numbers of con- 
verts, in Jerusalem alone, above three thousand. The 
aggregate, of the property belonging to the indivi- 
duals, had been formed into one common fund : the 
management — too great a burthen for the united la- 
bours of the eleven Apostles^ with their new associate 
Mathias — had, under the name so inappositely repre- 
sented at present by the English word deacoHy been 
committed to seven trustees ; one of whom, Stephen, 
had, at the instance of Paul, been made to pay, with 
his life, for the imprudence, with which he had, in 
the most public manner, indulged himself, in bias* 
pheming the idol of the Jews — their temple*. 

Of that flourishing condition, Pftul, under his ori- 

* Acts vii. ver. 47. Speech of St. Stephen. " But Solomon 
" bailt him an house. 48. Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not 
" in temples made with hands ; as saith the prophet, 49. Hea- 
'' ven is my throne, and earth is my footstool : what house will 
*' ye build me ? saith the Lord : or what is th^ place of my rest ?" 
In itself, perfectly conformable all thift, to the dictates of reason 
Bond the instruction of Jesus : but not the less clear blasphemy 
aguntt the Mosaic law. 

70 Ch. II. Outward Conversion^— how produced^ if c, 

ginal name of Saul, had all along been a witness. 
While carrying on against it that persecution, in 
which, if Aot the original instigator, he had been a 
most active instrument, persecuting (if he himself, in 
what he is made to say, in Acts xxii. 4, is to be be- 
lieved) — '^persecuting unto the death, binding and d6- 
" livering into prisons both men and women ;" — ^while 
thus occupied, he could not in the course of such his 
disastrous employment, have failed to obtain a consi- 
derable insight into the state of their worldly afiairs. 

Samaria — the field of the exploits and renown of 
the great sorcerer Simon, distinguished in those times 
by the name of Magus — Samaria, the near neighbour 
and constant rival, not to say enemy, of Jerusalem ; — 
is not more than about five and forty miles distant 
from it. To Paul's alert and busy mind, — the offer, 
made by the sorcerer, to purchase of the Apostles a 
share in the government of the church, could not have 
been a secret. 

At the hands of those rulers of the Christian Church, 
this ofler had not found acceptance. Shares in the 
direction of their affairs were not, like those in the 
government of the British Empire in these our days, 
objects of sale. The nine rulers would not come into 
any such bargain ; their disciples were not as cattle 
in their eyes : by those disciples themselves no such 
bargain would have been endured ; they were not as 
cattle in their own eyes. 

But, though the bargain proposed by the sorcerer 
did not take place, this evidence, which the offer of it 
so clearly affords, — this evidence, of the value of a si* 
tuation of that sort in a commercial point of view, 
could not naturally either have remained a secret to 
Paul, or failed to engage his attention, and present to 
his avidity and ambition a ground of speculation— *an 
inviting field of enterprize. 

^. 1. Motive f Temporal Advantage — Ptan. 71 

From the time when he took that leading part, in 
the condemnation and execution, of the too flamingly 
zealous manager, of the temporal concern8.of the asso- 
ciated disciples of that disastrous orator, by whom the 
preaching and spiritual functions might, with so much 
happier an issue, have been left in the hands of the 
Apostles — from that time, down to that in which we 
find him, with letters in his pocket, from the rulers 
of the Jews in their own country, to the rulers of the 
same nation under the government of the neighbour-* 
ing state of Damascus, he continued, according to the 
Acts (Acts ix. 1 .) ^' yet breathing out threatenings 
*^ and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.^ 

Of these letters, the object was —the employing the 
influence of the authorities from which they came, 
viz. the High Priest and the Elders, to the purpose of 
engaging those to whom they were addressed, to 
enable him to bring in bonds, to Jerusalem from Da- 
mascus, all such converts to the religion of Jesus, as 
should have been found in the place last mentioned. 

In his own person the author of the Acts informs 
us — ^that, by Saul, letters to this effect were desired*. 
In a subsequent chapter, in the person of Paul, (viz. 
in the speech, to the multitude by whom he had been 
dragged out of the Temple, in the design of putting 
him to death) he informs us they were actually ob- 

It was in the course of this his journey, and with 
these letters in his pocket, that, in and by the vision 

* Acts ix. ver. I and 2. — 1. " And Saul (yet breathing out 
" threatenings and slaughter against the Disciples of the Lord) 

" went unto the High Priest, 2. And desired of him letters to 

" Damascus to the Synagogues^ &c." 

t Acts xxii. ver. 5. " As also the High Priest doth bear me 
'' witness, and all the estate of the Elders : from whom also I re- 
" ceioed letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring 
'* them which were there bound unto Jerusalem for to be punished.** 

72 Ch.II. Outward Conversion — how produced, 8fc. 

seen by him while on the road — at that time and not 
earlier — his conversion was, according to his own ac- 
count of the matter, effected. 

That which is thought to have been already proved, 
let it, at least for argument's sake, be affirmed. Let 
us say accordingly — this vision-story was a mere fable. 
On this supposition, then, what will be to be said of 
those same letters ? — of the views in which they were 
obtained ? — of the use which was eventually made of 
them ? — of the purpose to which they were applied ? 
For all these questions one solution may serve. From 
what is known beyond dispute — on the one hand, of 
his former way of life and connexions-— on the other 
hand, of his subsequent proceeding — an answer, of the 
satisfactoriness of which the reader will have to judge, 
may, without much expense of thought, be collected. 

If^ in reality, no such vision was perceived by him, 
no circumstance remains manifest whereby the change 
which so manifestly and^notoriously took place in his 
plan of life, came to be referred to thai point in the 
field of time — in preference to any antecedent one. 

Supposing, then, the time of the change to have 
been antecedent to the commencement of that jour- 
ney of his to Damascus — antecedent to the time of 
the application, in compliance with which bis letter 
from the ruling powers at Jerusalem the object of 
which was to place at his disposal the lot of thj^ Chris- 
tians at Damascus, was obtained ; — this supposed, 
what, in the endeavour to obtain this letter, was his 
object ? Manifestly to place in his power these same 
Christians : to place them in his power, and thereby 
to obtain from them whatsoever assistance was re- 
garded by him as necessary for the ulterior prosecu-* 
tion of his schemes, as above indicated. 

On this supposition, in the event of their giving 
him that assistance, which, in the shape of money and 
other necessary shapes, he required — on this suppo* 

^. 1. Motive^ Tempor^d Advantage — Plan. 73 

sitioD, he made known to them his detennination, 
not only to spare their persons, but to join with them 
in their religion ; and, by taking the lead in it among 
the heathen, (to whom he was, in several respects, so 
much better qualified for communicating it than any 
of the Apostles or their adherents), to promote it to the 
utmost of his power. An offer of this nature — ^was 
it in the nature of things that it should be refused ? 
Whatsoever was most dear to them— their own per- 
sonal security, and the sacred interests of the new re- 
ligion, the zeal of which was yet flaming in their bo- 
soms, concurred in pressing it upon their acceptance. 

With the assistance thus obtained, the plan was — 
to become a declared convert to the religion of Jesus, 
for the purpose of setting himself at the head of it; 
and^ by means of the expertness he had acquired in 
the use of the Greek language, to preach, in the 
name of Jesus, that sort of religion, by the preaching 
of which, an empire over the minds of his converts, 
and, by that means, the power and opulence to which 
he aspired, might, with the fairest prospect of success, 
be aimed at. > 

But, towards the accomplishment of this design, 
what presented itself as a necessary step, was — the en- 
tering into a sort o\ treaty ^ and forming at least in ap- 
pearance, a sort of junction, with the leaders of the new 
religion and their adherents — the Apostles and the rest 
of the disciples. As for them^ in acceding to this pro- 
posal, on the supposition of any thing like sincerity and 
consistency on his part, they would naturally see much 
to gain and nothing to lose : much indeed to gain ; 
no less than peace and security, instead of that per- 
secution, by which, with the exception of the Apostles 
themselves (to all of whom experience seems, without 
exception, to have imparted the gift of prudence), the 
whole fraternity had so lately been driven from their 
homes^ and scattered abroad in various directions. 

74 Ch, II. Ouituard Conversion — how produced^ 8fc. 

With the Christians at Damascus^ that projected junc- 
tion was actually effected by him : but, in this state of 
things, to return to Jerusalem was not, at that time, 
to be thought of. In the eyes of the ruling powers, 
he would have been a trust-breaker — ^a traitor to their 
cause : in the eyes of the Christians^ he would have 
been a murderer, with the blood of the innocent still 
reeking on his hands : no one would he have found so 
much as to lend an ear to his story, much less to endure 
it. In Damascus, after making his agreement with 
his new brethren, there remained little for him to do. 
Much had he to inform himself of concerning Jesus. 
Damascus — where Jesus had already so many follow- 
ers — Damascus was a place for him to learn in : not 
to teach in : — at any rate, at that time. 

Arabia, a promising field of enterprise-— ^Arabia, a 
virgin soil, opened to his view. There he would find 
none to abhor his person — none to contradict his 
assertions: there his eloquence — and, under the di- 
rection of his judgment, his invention — ^would find 
free scope : in that country the reproach of incon- 
sistency could not attach upon him : in that foreign 
land he beheld his place of quarantine — his school 
of probation— the scene of his novitiate. By a few 
years employed in the exercise of his new calling — 
with that spirit and activity which would accompany 
him of course in every occupation to which he could 
betake himself — he would initiate himself in, and 
femiliarize himself with, the connected exercises of 
preaching and spiritual rule. At the end of that 
period, whatsoever might be his success in that coun- 
try, such a portion of time, passed in innocence, would 
at any rate allay enmity : such a portion of time, ma- 
nifestly passed, in the endeavour at any rate to ren- 
der service to the common cause, might even establish 

At the end of that time, he might, nor altogether 

^. I. Afotive, Temporal Advantage — Plan, 75 

without hope of success, present himself to the rulers 
of the church, in the metropolis of their spiritual em<- 
pire : ^' Behold (he might say) in me no longer a per- 
secutor^ but a fnend. The persecutor has long va- 
nished : he has given place to the friend. Too true 
it is, that I was so once your persecutor. Years spent 
in unison with you — ^years spent in the service ot the 
common cause — ^have proved me. You see before 
you, a tried man — an ally of tried fidelity: present 
me as such to your ^sciples : take me into your coun* 
cils : all my talent, all my faculties, shall be yours. 
The land of Israel will continue, as it has been, the 
field of your holy labours; the land of the Gentiles 
shall be mine : we will carry on our operations in con- 
cert ; innumerable are the ways in which each of us 
will derive from the other — information, assistance^ 
and support.'* 

To Arabia he accordingly repaired : so, in his Epi- 
stle to the Galatians (Gal. i. 17,) he himself informs 
us : in that little-known country, he continued three 
whole years — so also, in the same place, he informs 
us. There it was, that he experienced that success, 
whatever it was, that went to constitute the ground, 
of the recommendation given of him by Barnabas to 
the Apostles. From thence he returned to Damascus : 
and, in that city, presenting himself in his regenerated 
character, and having realized by his subsequent con- 
duct the expectations raised by his promises at the 
outset of his career* ; he planned, and as will be seen^ 
executed his expedition f o Jerusalem : the expedition, 
the object of which has just been brought to view. 

* Yet, for even at the outset, after certain *' days spent with 
'' the disciples^** and employed of cofurse in receiving firom them 
the necessary instructions, he preached Jesus with such energy 
and success as not only to " confound** (Acts ix. 19 to 24) the 
unbelieving among the Jews, but to provoke them to '^ takecoun- 
'* sel to km him.** 

76 Ch. II. Outward Conversion — how produced, 8fc. 

** Then (says Paul himself,) I went up to Jerusalem 
to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days*/ 
There, says the author of the Acts t> '* Barnabas took 
him and brought him to the Apostles, • . . and he was 
with them coming in and going out of Jerusalem.** 



This same Ananias — of whom so much has been seen 
in the last chapter — PauKs own imagination excepted, 
had he any where any existence ? The probability 
seems to be on the negative side : and, in the next 
section, as to whether PauFs companions on the road 
are not in a similar predicament, the reader will have 
to judge. But let us begin with Ananias. 

At Damascus, at any rate — with such power in his 
hands, for securing obsequiousness at the hands of 
those to whom he was addressing himself — with such 
power in his hands, Paul could not have had much 
need of any thing in the shape of a vision : — he coilld 
not have had any need of any such person as the seer 
of the correspondent vision^— Ananias. 

For the purpose of aiding the operation of those 
considerations of worldly prudence, which these powers 
of his enabled him to present, to those whom it con« 
cerned, — there might be some perhaps, who, for yield- 
ing to those considerations, and thus putting them- 
selves under the command of this formidable poten- 
tate, might look for an authority from the Lord Jesus. 
But, forasmuch as, in this very case, even at this time 
of day, visions, two in name, but, in respect of proba- 
tive force, reducible to one — are so generally received as 

* Gal. i. 18. t Acte ix. 27, 28. 

^. 2« At Damascu^i no suck Ananias^ probably. 77 

conclusive evidence, — no wonder ifj at that timeof day, 
by persons so circumstanced, that one vision should 
be received in that same character. At Damascus, 
therefore, on his first arrival, there could not be any 
occasion for any such corroborating story as the story 
of the vision of Ananias. At Damascus*— unless he had 
already obtained, and instructed as his confederate, 
a man of that name — no such story could, with any 
prospect of success, have been circulated : for the pur- 
pose of learning the particulars of an occurrence of 
such high importance, the residence of this Ananias 
would have been inquired after: and, by supposi- 
tion^ no satisfactory answer being capable of being 
given to any such inquiries, — no such story could be 
ventured to be told. 

Such was the case, at that place and at that time. 
As to any such evidence, as that afforded by the /^rin- 
ci/7a/ vision, viz. P^uFs own, — perhaps no such evidence 
was found necessary : but, if it was found necessary, 
nothing could be easier than the furnishing it. As to 
the secondary vision, viz. that ascribed afterwards to 
a man of the name of Ananias, — at that time scarcely 
could there have been any need of it — any demand for 
it ; and, had there been any such demand, scarcely, 
unless previously provided, could any such correspond- 
ent supply have been afforded. 

In other places and posterior limes alone, could this 
supplemental vision, therefore, have been put into cir- 
culation: accordingly, not till a great many years after, 
was mention made of it by the author of the Acts : — 
mention made by him, either in his own person, or 
as having been related, or alluded to, by Paul himself. 
Even the author of the Acts, — though in this same 
chapter he has been relating the story of Ananias*s 

S'sion, — ^yet, when be comes to speak, of the way, in 
bich, according to him, Paul, by means of his pro- 
tector and benefactor Barnabas, obtained an introduc- 

78 Ch. n* Outward Conversion — how produced, 8fc. 

tioTi to the Apostles (viz. tdl the Apostles, in which, 
however, he is so pointedly contradicted by Paul him- 
self), — yet speaks not of Barnabas, as including, in the 
recommendatory account he gave them, of Fbul-— his 
vision, and his merits — ^any mention of this supple* 
mental vbion :— «ny mention of any Ananias *. 

At Damascus, howsoever it might be in regard to 
the Christians — neither to Jews, nor to Gentiles, could 
the production, of any such letters as those in ques- 
tion, have availed him any thing. Such as had em- 
braced Christianity excepted, neither over Gentiles nor 
over Jews did those letters give him any power : and, 
as to Jews, the character in which — after any <leclara<- 
tion made of his conversion — ^he would have presented 
himself, would have been no better than that of an 
apostate, and betrayer of a highly important public 
trust. To men of both these descriptions, a plea of 
some sort or other, such as, if believed, would be ca* 
pable of accounting for so extraordinary a step, as that 
he should change, from the condition of a most crud 
and inveterate persecutor of the new religion, to that 
of a most zealous supporter and leader, — could not, 
therefore, but be altogether necessary. No sooner was 
he arrived at Damascus, than (if the author of tlw 
Acts is to be believed,) he began pleading, with all his 
energy, the cause of that religion, which, almost to that 
moment, he had with so much cruelty opposed. As to 
thestory of his vision, — ^what is certain is — that, sooner 
or later, for the purpose of rendering to men of all 
descriptions a reason for a change so pre-eminently 
extraordinary, he employed this story. But^ forasmuch 
as of no other account of it, as given by him^ is any 
trace to be found; — ^nor can any reason be found, why 
that which was certainly employed afterwards might 
not as well be employed at and from the first; — Whence 


^» «3. On Dmnascus Journey^ Sfc. 79 

comes the probability, that from the first it accord- 
ingly was employed. 



In the preceding chapter, a question was started, but 
no determinate answer as yet found for it : this is-— 
what became of the men, who — according to all the 
accounts given by Paul, or from him, of his conver- 
sion vision — were his companionsxxx the journey ? At 
Damascus, if any such men there were, they would in 
course arrive as well as he, and at the same time with 
him. This circumstance considered, if any such men 
there were, — and they were not in confederacy with 
him, — ^the imposition must have been put upon themt 
and, for that purpose, he must, in their presence, have 
uttered the sort of discourse, and exhibited the sort of 
deportment, mentioned in the above accounts. 

To this difficulty, however, a very simple solution 
presents itself. He had no such companions. Neither 
by name, nor so much as by any the most general de- 
scription,— either of the persons, or of the total nom- 
ber,^is any designation to be found any where: — not 
in the* account given in the Acts ; not in any account^ 
given byhimselCin any Epistle of his; or, as from hkn-< 
self, in any part of the Acts. In the company of di« 
vers others, a man was struck down (he says, or it is 
said of him), by a supernatural light: and, at the nt^ 
stant, and on the spot, has a conversation with some^ 
body. Instead of saving who these other men are^ 
the credit of the whole story is left to rest on the ere* 
dit of this one man :— the credit, of a story, the na** 
tural improbability of which, stood so much need of 
collateral evidence^ to render it credible. 

80 Ch. II. Outward Conversion— how produced, Sfc. 

Not till many years had elapsed, after this journey 
of his were these accounts^ any one of them, made 
public: and, in relation to these pretended companions 
— supposing him interrogated at any time posterior to 
the publication of the account in the Acts, — after the 
lapse of such a number of years, he could, without 
much difficulty (especially his situation and personal 
character considered,) hold himself at full liberty, to 
remember or to forget, as much or as little, as on each 
occasion he should find convenient. 



ACTSix. 19—85. 

19. And when he had received meat he was strengthened. Then was Saul 
certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.— Sa And straight- 
way he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 

21. But all that heard him were amazed, and said: Is not this he that dc- 
stroyeth them which called on this name in Jerusalem ; and came hither for 
that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests ? — SS. But 
Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at 
Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.-^— -SS. And after that many days 
were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him.— — *24. But their laying 
await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and m'ght to kill 
him.^— 25. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by tbt 
wall in a basket. 

The conception, which it was the evident design of 
this passage to impress upon the mind of the reader, 
is«~that, as soon sdmost as he was arrived at Damas- 
cus, Paul not only went about preaching Jesus, but 
preaching to that effect openly, and without reserve, in 
all the synagogues : and that it was for this preaching, 
and nothing else, that *^ the Jews (thus undiscrimi- 
nating is the appellation, purposely it should seem, 
employed) went about to kill him :** that thereupon it 
was, that he made his escape over the wall, and having 
90 done, repaired immediately to Jerusalem. 

In this conception, there seems to be evidently a 
mixture of truth and falsehood*. 

^. 4. FRghifrom Damascus ; Causes^ 8fc. 81 

That he addressed himself, in a greater or less num- 
ber, to the disciples, — ^mnst assuredly have been true : 
to the accomplishment of his designs, as above ex« 
{^ined, intercourse with them could not but be alto- 
gether necessary. 

That, when any probabk hope of fiavourable atten- 
tion and secreey were pointed out to him — ^that, in here 
and there an instance, he ventured so far as to address 
himself to this or that individual, who was not as yet 
enlisted in the number of disciples, — may also have 
been true : and, for this purpose, he might have ven- 
tured perhaps to show himself in some comparatively 
obscure synagogue or synagogues. 

But, as to his venturing himself so far as to preach 
in all synagogues without distinction, — or in any syna- 
gogue frequented by any of the constituted authorities 
— this seems altogether incredible. 

To engage them to seek his life ; to lie in wait to 
kill him ; in other words, to apprehend him for the 
purpose of trying him, and probably at the upshot 
killing him, — this is no more than, considering what, 
in their eyes, he had been guilty of, was a thing of 
course: a measure, called for — not, for preaching tlie 
religion of Jesus ; not, for any boldness in any other way 
di^layed ; hut, for the betraying of the trust, reposed m 
faifo by the constituted authorities at Jerusalem : thu» 
protecting and dierishing those malefactors (for such 
they bad been pronounced by authority), for the ap- 
prehending and punishing of whom, he had solicited 
the commission he thereupon betrayed. Independently 
of all other offence, given by preaching or any thing 
else, — in this there was that, which, under any govern- 
ment whatever, would have amply sufficed — would 
even more than sufficed — to draw down, upon the head 
of the offender, a most exemplary punishment. 

In this view, note well the description, given in the 
Acts, of the persons, by whose enmity he was driven 


82 ChjII. Outward Conversion^ how produced^ 8fc. 

out of Damascus ; compare with it what, in relation 
to this same point, is declared — ^most explicitly de- 
clared — by Paul himself. 

By the account in the Acts, they were the persons 
to whom he had been preaching Jesus; and who, by 
that preaching, had been confounded and provoked. 
Among those persons, a conspiracy was formed for 
murdering him ; and it was to save him from this 
conspiracy that the disciples let him down the wall in 
a basket. 

Such is the colour, put upon the matter by the au- 
thor of the Acts. Now, what is the truth-^the 
manifest and necessary truth, as related — explicitly 
related — by Paul himself.^ related, in the second of his 
letters to his Corinthians, on an occasion when the 
truth would be more to his purpose than the false 
gloss put upon it by his adherents as above ? The peril, 
by which he was driven thus to make his escape, was 
—not a murderous conspiracy, formed against him by 
a set of individuals provoked by his preaching ; — it 
was the intention, formed by the governor of the city. 
Intention ? to do what ? to put him to death against 
law ? No ; but to " apprehend** him.^ To apprehend 
him ? for what ? Evidently for the purpose of bring- 
ing him to justice in the regular way — whatsoever was 
the regular way — for the offence he had so recently 
committed : committed, by betraying his trust, and en- 
tering into a confederacy with the offenders, whom he 
had been commissioned, and had engaged, to occupy 
himself, in concert with the constituted authorities of 
the place, in bringing to justice. 

" In Damascus (says he, 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33,) the go- 
" vernor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Da- 
** mascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend 
*' me : 33. And through a window in a basket was I 
•* let down by the wall, artd escaped his hands.** 

And on what occasion is it, that this account of the 

^.4. Flight from Damascus; Causes^ 8fc. 83 

matter is given by him ? It is at the close of a de^ 
clamation, which occupies ten verses — a declamation, 
the object of which is — to impress upon the minds of 
his adherents the idea of his merits: viz. those which 
consisted in labour, suffering, and perils: merits, on 
which he places his title to the preference he claims 
above the competitors to whom he alludes: — ^alludes, 
though without naming them: they being, as he ac- 
knowledges therein, ministers of Christ, and probably 
enough, if not any of them Apostles, persons commis- 
sioned by the Apostles^. Greater, it is evident, must 
have been the danger from the ruling powers of the 
place, than from a setof individual intended murderers: 
— ^from the power of the rulers there could not be so 
much as a hope of salvation, except by escape : from 
the individuals there would be a naturally sufficient 
means of salvation ; the power of the rulers presenting 
a means of salvation, and that naturally a sufficient 

Note here, by the by, one of the many exemplifi- 
cations, of that confusion which reigns throughout in 
PauFs discourses : the result, of that mixture, which, 
in unascertainable proportions, seems to have had 
place — that mixture of nature and artifice. It is at 
the end of a long list of labours, sufferings, and perils, 
that this anecdote presents itself. Was it accordingly 
at the end of them that the fact itself had taken place ? 
— No : it wdLsai the very commencement: or rather, so 
far as concerned preaching, 6g/bre the commencement. 
Only in the way of allusion — allnHon in general terms 
-^in terms of merely general description, without men* 
tion of time or place, or persons concerned, — ^are any 
of the other sufferings or perils mentioned : in this in- 
stance alone, is any mention made under any one of 

* In speaking of Paul's inducements, this subject will be parti- 
cularly considered in the Appendix, chapter 6. 

G 2 

84 Cli. II. Outward Conversion^ how produced, Sfc. 

those heads: and here wt* see it under two of them, 
\]z.piace9ind person: and moreover, by other circum- 
stances, the time, viz. the relative time, is pretty efiSec^ 
tually fixed. 

Immediately afterwardt^, this same indisputably false 
colouring will be seen laid on, when the account 
comes to be given, of his departure for Jerusalem : 
always for preaching Jesus b he sought after, never 
ibr any thing else. 

According to this representation, here are two 
governments — two municipal governments — one of 
them, at the solicitation of a functionary of its own, 
giving him a commission to negotiate with another, for 
the purpose of obtaining, at its hands, an authority, for 
apprehending a set of men, who, in the eyes of both, 
were guilty of an offence against both. Instead of 
pursuing his commission, and using his endeavoun 
to obtain the desired co-operation, he betray^ the trust 
reposed in him : — he not only suffers the alledged ma* 
letactors to remun unapprehended and untouched, 
but enters into a confederacy with them. To both 
governments, this conduct of his is, according to him, 
matter of such entire indifference, that he might have 
presented himself every where, as if nothing bad hap- 
pened, had it not been for his preaching : — ^had it not 
been for his standing forth openly ^ to preach to all 
that would hear him^ the very religion which he had 
been commissioned to extinguish. 

In such a state of things, is there any thing that can, 
by any supposition, toe reconciled to the nature of man, 
in any situation,— or to any form of government ? 

Three years having been passed by him in that to 
him strange country, what, during all that time, were 
his means of subsistence ? To this question an un- 
questionable answer will be afforded by the known na- 
ture of his situation. He was bred to a trade, indeed 
a handicraft trade — tent- making: an art, in which the 

^. 5. Arabia l^isii-^mmiwned b^ Paul^ ifc. 8$ 

operations of the architect and the upholsterer are 
combined. But, it was not to practise either that, or 
any other manual operation, that he paid his visit to 
that country. When he really did practise it, he took 
care that this condescension of his should not remain 
a secret : from that, as from every thing else he ever 
did or suiSTered, or pretended to have done or suffered, 
he failed not to extract the matter of glory for him- 
self, as well as edification for his readers. In Arabia, 
his means of subsistence were not then derived from 
his trade : if they had been, we should have known it :— - 
from what source then were they derived ? By the 
very nature of his situation, this question has been al« 
ready answered : — from the purses of those, whom, 
liaving had it in his power, and even in his commis« 
sion, to destroy, he had saved. 

And now, as to all those things, which, from the 
relinquishment of his labours in the field of persecu- 
tion to the first of his four recorded visits to Jerusalem; 
he is known to have done, answers have been furnished : 
— answers, to the several questions why and by what 
means^ such as, (upon the supposition that the super- 
natural mode of his conversion was but a fable) it 
will not, it is hoped, be easy to find cause for objecting 
to as insufficient. 



Not altogether without special reason, seems the veil 
of obscurity to have been cast over this long interval. 
In design, rather than accident, or heedlessness, or want 
of information, — may be found, it should seem, the 
cause, of a silence so pregnant with misrepresentation. 
In addition to a length of time, more or less consider* 
able, spent in Damascus, a city in close communica* 

86 Ch. IL Outward Conversion^ how produced^ 8fc. 

tion with Jerusalem, in giving proofs of his conversion, 
— three years spent in some part or other of the conti- 
guous indeed, but wide-extending, country of Arabia 
— (spent, if Paul is to be believed, in preaching the 
religion of Jesus, and at any rate in a state of peace 
and innoxiousness with relation to it) — afforded such 
proof of a change of plan and sentiment, as, in the case 
of many a man, might, without miracle or wonder, 
have sufficed to form a basis for the projected alliance: 
—this proof, even of itself; much more, when corrobo- 
rated, by the sort of certificate, given to the Church 
by its pre-eminent benefactor Barnabas, who, in in- 
troducing the new convert, to the leaders among the 
Apostles, for the special purpose of proposing the al- 
liance, — took upon himself the personal responsibility, 
so inseparably involved in such a mark of confidence. 

In this state of things then, which is expressly asserted 
by Paul to have been, and appears indubitably to have 
been, a real one,— -considerations of an ordinary nature 
being sufficient — to produce — not only the effect actu- 
ally produced — but, in the case of many a man, much 
more than the effect actually produced,*— there was no 
demand, at that time, for a miracle : no demand for a 
miracle, for any such purpose, as that of working, upon 
the minds of the Apostles, to any such effect as that of 
their maintaining, towards the new convert, a conduct 
free from hostility, accompanied with a countenance of 
outward amity. But, for other purposes, and in the 
course of his intercourse with persons of other descrip- 
tions, it became necessary for him to have had these 
visions: it became necessary — not only for the purpose 
of proving connexion on his part with the departed 
Jesus, to the satisfaction of all those by whom such 
proof would be looked for, — but, for the further pur- 
pose, of ascribing to Jesus, whatsoever doctrines the 
prosecution of his design might from time to time call 
upon him to promulgate;— those doctrines, in ft word, 

^.6. Gamaliel— had he'^art in PauTs Plan? 87 

which, (as will be seen,) being his and not Jesus's — 
not reported by any one else as being Jesus's — we shall 
find him, notwithstanding, preaching, and delivering, 
— so much at his ease, and with unhesitating assu-< 

A miracle having therefore been deemed necessary 
(the miracle of the conversion-vision), and reported 
accordingly, — thus it is, that, by the appearance of 
suddenness, given to the sort and degree of confidence 
thereupon reported as having been bestowed upon him 
by the Apostles, a sort of confirmation is, in the Acts 
account, given to the report of the miracle: according 
to this account, it was not by the three or four years 
passed by him in the prosecution of their designs, or 
at least without obstruction given to them; — it was not 
by any such proof of amity, that the intercourse, such 
as it was, had been effected : — no: it was by the re- 
port of the vision — that report which, in the first iiii- 
stance, was made to them by their generous benefactor 
and powerful supporter, Barnabas ; confirmed, as, to 
every candid eye it could not fail to be, by whatever 
accounts were, on the occasion of the personal inter* 
course, delivered from his own lips. *^ But Barnabas 
*' (says the author) took him and brought him to the 
** Apostles, and declared unto them how be had seen 
*' the Lord by the way, and that he had spoken to 
^' him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus 
" in the name of Jesus*." 



Gamaliel — in the working of this conversion, may 
it not be that Gamaliel — a person whose reality seems 
little exposed to doubt — ^Iiad rather a more consider- 

* Acts ix. 27. 

88 Ch. 11. Outward Cotwerswn^ how produced^ Ife. 

able share, than the above-mentioned unknovm and 
unknowable Ananias ? 

Gamah'el was " a doctor of law*"— a person of suf- 
ficient note» to have been a member of the coundl» in 
which the chief priests, under the presidency of the 
High Priest ^y took cognizance of the offence Hdth 
which Peter and his associates had a little before this 
been charged, on the occasion of their preaching Jesus. 
Under this Gamaliel, had Paul, he so at least is made 
to tell us, studied :(;. Between Paul and this Gamaliel, 
here then is a connexion : a connexion — of that sort, 
which, in all places, at all times, has existence, — ^and 
of which the nature is every where and at all times 
<o well understood— the connexion between proiegi 
and protector. It was by authority from the govera- 
ing body, that Paul was, at this time, lavishing his 
exertions in the persecution of the Apostles and th^ 
adherents: — ^who then so likely, as this same Gamaliel, 
to have been the patron, at whose recommendaticm 
the commission was obtained ? Of the cognizanoe 
which this Gamaliel took, of the conduct and mode of 
life of the religionists in que8tion,-^the result was la« 
vourable. " Let them alone,** were his words (Acts v. 
38). The maintenance, derived by the /yro/cr^i, on 
that same occasion, from the persecution of these in- 
noxious men — ^this maintenance being at once odious, 
dangerous, and precarious, — while the maintenance, 
derivable^rom thetaking a part in the direction c€ thefar 
affairs, presented to view a promise of being at once 
respectable, lucrative, and permanent; — what more 
natural then, that this change, from left to right, had 
for its origin the advice of this same patron ? — advice, 
to which, all things considered, the epithet ^(^otf could 
not very easily be refused. 

» Acts V. 34. t Ibid. v. 24. } Ibid. xxii. 3. 



Paul disbelieved. — Neither his divine Commission 
nor his inward Conversion ever credited by the 
Apostles or their Jerusalem Disciples.'^Sovrce of 
Proof stated. 


TO Paul's conversion vision, sole original wit- 
ness HIMSELF. 

Void, as we have seen, of all title to credence, is the 
story oif Phiurs commission from Jesus: — void may it 
be seen to be, even if taken by itself, and without need 
of resort to any counter-evidence. Who could have ex- 
pected to have found it, nK»eover, disproved by the 
most irresistible counter-evidence— by the evidence of 
the Apostles thenaselves? Yes: of the Apostles them- 
selves, of whom it will plainly enough be seen, that 
by not so much as one of them was it ever believed t 
no, not to even the very latest period, of which any ac- 
count lias reached us: namdy that, at which the his- 
Uny <af the Acts of the Apostles doses, or that of the 
date of the last-wriUen of PauFa Epistles^ whicbsoever 
of the two may be the latest. 

In regard to the ^toty of his conversion, its cause, 
and manner, — it has been seen, that it is either from 
himself directly, or from an adherent of his, the au* 
thor of the AOs^ — who bad it fnom himself, unless 
Ananias was a person knoivn to the author of the 
Acts, and heard by him, — it is from Paul, and Paul 
aloue, that all the evidence, which the case has bap« 
pened to supply, has been derived. 

In r€^rd to the decree of <^ence given, to bis 
pretence to the having received a commission from 

90 Ch. III. Conversiofi and Cafnmission disbelieved. 

Jesus, still the same remark applies : still, either from 
himself, or from the same partial, and, as will be seen, 
not altogether trustworthy, narrator, comes the whole 
of the evidence, with which the case happens to have 
furnished us. 





Jerusalem, according to the Acts, was the head- 
quarters of the noble army of the Apostles : the ordi- 
nary residence of that goodly fellowship :— a station, 
which they none of them ever quitted, for any consi- 
derable length of time. 

^ In the course of the interval, between the date as- 
signed by Paul to his conversion, and that of the last 
1)articulars we have of his history, — mention, more or 
ess particular, may be found of four visits of his — di- 
stinctly four related visits, and no more than four, — ^to 
that metropolis of the new Church. On no oneof these 
occasions, could he have avoided using his endeavours, 
towards procuring admittance, to the fellowship of the 
distinguished persons, so universally known in the 
character of the select companions and most confi- 
dential servants of Jesus : of that Jesus, whom, in the 
flesh at any rate, he never so much as pretended to 
have ever seen : Jirom whom he had consequently (if 
they thought proper to impart it) so much to learn, 
or at least to wish to learn: while to them he had no- 
thing to impart, except that which, if any thing, it 
was only in the way of vision^ if in any way, that he 
had learnt from Jesus. 

That on three at least of these four occasions, viz, 
the Ist, 3d, and 4th, he accordingly did use his endea- 
vours to confer with them, will be put out of dispute 

^.2. Counter-wttnesseSy the Apostles. 91 

by direct evidence ; and that, in the remaining one, 
namely that whidi in theorder of time stands second, — 
successfully or not, his endeavours were directed to the 
same purpose, — will, it will be seen, be reasonably to 
be inferred from circumstancial evidence. In the cha- 
racter of an additional occasion of intercourse, between 
him and one of the Apostles, namely, Peter, the chief 
of them, — will be to be added, that which .will be seen 
taking place at Antioch ; immediately upon the back, 
and in consequence, of the third of these same visits 
of his to Jerusalem. 

As to the mode of his conversion as above stated,— 
the /iW, for him to have stated it to them, was mani- 
festly that of the first of these four visits ; — say his re- 
coficiliatwn'visit: and that, of that first visit, to see 
them, or at any rate the chief of them, namely, Peter; 
was the object, — is what, in his Epistle to the Gala- 
tians, we shall see him declaring in express terms. 

After all — that story of his, in which the supposed 
manner of his conversion is related, as above, — did 
he so much as venture to submit it to them? The 
more closely it is examined, the less probable surely 
will be seen to be — ^his having ventured, to submit any 
such narrative, to a scrutiny so jealous, as theirs, under 
these circumstances, could not fail to be. 

One of two things at any rate will, it is believed, be 
seen to a certainty : namely. Either no such story as 
that which we see, nor any thing like it, was ever told 
to them by him ; or, if yes, it obtained no credit at their 



For proof, of the disbelief, which his story will, it is 
believed, be found to have experienced, at the hands 
of those supremely competent judges, — the time is 

93 Ch. III. Conversion a^id ComvUssion disbelieved. 

now Gome, for collecting together, and submitting in 
a confronted state to the reader, all the several parti- 
culars that have reached us, in relation to these four 
important visits. 

Between the first-recorded and the last-recorded of 
the four, the length of the interval being so consider- 
able as it will be seen to be, namely, upwards of 17 
years at the least, — and, in the course of the interval, 
so numerous and various a series of incidents being to 
be seen comprised, — the consequence is — that this one 
topic will unavoidably spread itself to such an extent, 
as to cover the whole ot the chronological field of the 
history of the Church in those eventful times. A sort 
of necessity has thus been found, of taking a view of 
the principal part of all those several incidents, in a 
sort of historical order, in a succeeding part of this 
work : hence, of that which, for the proof of what has 
just been advanced, will here be necessary to be brought 
to view, — no inconsiderable portion will be an antici- 
pation, of that which belongs properly to the historical 
sketch, and, but for this necessity, would have been 
reserved for it. 

SECnON 4. 


Thick clouds, and those covering no small portion of 
its extent, will, after every thing that can be done to 
dispel them, be found still hanging over the field of 
this inquiry. But, if to the purpose of the present 
question, sufficient light be elicited; in whatever dark- 
ness any collateral points may remain still involved, 
the conclusion will not be affected by it. 

As to the credibility of Pftufs story, — ^taken in itself, 

and viewed from the only position, from which we, at 

this time of day, can view it, — the question has just 

been discussed. 

That which remains for discussion is^^whether, from 

^. 4. Topics under Ms several Jerusalem Visits. 93 

tlie Churchywbich Paul found in existence — ^theCfaurch 
composed of the Apostks of Jesus, and bis and their 
disciples — ^it ever obtained credence. 

On this occasion, to the Apostles more particularly 
must the attention be directed : and this — not only be- 
cause by their opinion, that of the great body of those 
disciples would, of course, on a point of such vital 
importance, be governed ; but, because, in the case of 
^ese confidential servants and habitual attendants of 
Jesus, the individuals, of whom the body is composed, 
and who are designated by one and the same denomi- 
nation, are always determinable: determinable, in such 
sort, that, at all times, wheresoever they are represent- 
ed as being, the eye can follow them. 

To judge with what aspect Paul with his preten- 
sions was viewed by them, always with a view to the 
main question—* whether, in any particular, the al- 
ledged supernatural cause of his outward conversion, 
and thence of his presumable inward conversion, ever 
obtained credence from them ; — one primary object, 
which requires to be attended to, is— personal inter- 
course ; viz. the sort of personal intercourse, which 
between him on the one part, and them, or some of 
them, on the other part, appears to have had place. 

Of this intercourse, the several interviews, which 
appear to have had place, will form the links. Cor- 
respondent to those interviews will be found to be so 
many visits : all of them, except one, visits made by 
him to the great original metropolis of the Christian 
world— -Jerusalem: ^ the scene of the acts and suffer- 
ings of the departed Jesus : — the ordinary abode of 
these his chosen disciples and successors. If, to these 
visits of Paul's is to be added any other interview, — it 
will be in another city, to wit Antioch : and, in this 
instance, between Paul, and not (as in the case of the 
other visits might naturally be expected) the Apostles 
in a body ; but one, or some other small number of 
members, by whom a visit to that place was made, in 

94 Ch. III. Cofw^sion and Commission disbelieved. 

consequence of their having been selected for that 
purpose, and deputed by the rest. 

Of the interviews corresponding with these visits, 
the real number, — and not only the real number, but 
the number upon record, — is unhappily, in no incon- 
siderable degree, exposed to doubt ; for, considejing 
the terms they were upon, as we shall see, at the inter- 
views produced by Paul's first Jerusalem visit, it does 
not by any means follow, that, between the persons in 
question, because there were two more such visits, 
there was, on each occasion, an interview. 

Two of them, however, at any rate, if any degree 
of credence whatever be given to the documents, re- 
main altogether clear of doubt : and whatever uncer- 
tainty may be found to attach upon any of the others, 
may be regarded as so many fixt points : fixt points, 
forming so many standards of reference, to which the 
others may in speaking of them be referred, and by 
reference to which the reality and time of those 
others, will be endeavoured to be ascertained. 

For the designation of the visits which produced 
these two unquestionable interviews, the terms Recon- 
conciliation yisit^ and Invasion f^isity will here be 
employed : the former being that which gave rise to 
the first-mentioned of the two interviews, which, after 
the conversion, appear for certain to have had place 
between the rival and contending powers ; the other, 
to the last. 

1 . By the Reco^iciliatiofi T^isit is here meant — that 
visit — by which was produced ih^ first interview, which, 
after the conversion of Paul, had place between him 
and any of the Apostles. Its title to this appellation 
is altogether unquestionable. After these proceedings 
of Paul's, by which the destruction of so >many of the 
Christians had already been efTected, and that of all 
the rest was threatened, — it was not possible, that, with- 
out a reconciliation, — if not an inward at any rate an 
outward one, — any interview, on both sides voluntary. 

^. 4. Topics undef* his Jerusalem Vmis. 95 

should have taken place. Of the Apostles, Peter was 
the acknowledged chief : that it was for the purpose 
of seeing Peter, that a visit of Paul's to Jenisalem — 
the first of those mentioned by him — was made, — is 
acknowledged by himself : acknowledged, in that Epi- 
stle of his, to his Galatian disciples, of which so much 
wilt have to be said (Gal. i. and ii.)*. Without the 
assistance of some mediator, scarcely was it in the na- 
ture of the case, that, in any way, any such reconcilia- 
tion could have been effected. In the person of 
Barnabas, — a most munificent patron, as will be seen, 
of the infant church, — this indispensable friend was 

According to the received chronology, the time of 
this visit was a.d. 38. In the account, given in the 
Acts, (Acts xvi.) of the conjunct missionary excursion 
made from Antioch by Paul and Barnabas — ^an excur- 
sion, the commencement of which is, by that same chro- 
nology, placed in the year 53, — Galatia stands fifth, in 
the number of the places, which they are spoken of as 
visiting. Acts xvi. 6. Of any visit, made in that country, 
either before this or after it, no mention is to be found 
in ijfi^ Acts, except in Acts xviii. 23 : on which occa- 
sion, he is spoken of as revisiting Galatia, '* strength- 
" ening the churches-f-." 

Of what passed on the occasion of this visit, the 
account, given as above by Paul, will be seen receiving 
explanation, from what is said of this same visit in the 

* Gal. i. 18. '' Then after three years I went up to Jenualein 
to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days." 

t Of any mention made of Galatia, in any of the Books of the 
New Testament, the following are, according to Cruden s Con- 
cordance, the only instances : 1 Cor. xvi. 1 . ''. . . have given order to 
the churches at Galatia " Tunes, assigned to these Epistles, a.d. 59. 
2 Tim. iv. 10 : '' Crescens is departed to Galatia." a.d. ^^, 1 Pet. 
i. 1 : '' to the strangers scattered in Galatia." Date a.d. 60. 

96 Ch.III. Conv&rsiofk and Commission disbelieved. 

ACTS is. 86 to sa 

26. An4 when Sciul was come to Jenualem, he aasayed to join himadf to 
the disciples : but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a 
disciple.— *— 37. But Banaafaas took hun, and bcou^t Aim to the AIl08llel^ 
ami declared unto them how he had seen the Lord m the way, and that he 
had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name 
of Jesus.— *»3S, And he was with them comtng in and goinf oat at Jerun- 
lem.— 29. And he i^ake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus» and dis- 
puted against the Grecians : but they went about to slay him. SO, Which 
when the brethren kn^w, they brought him, down to Cesareay and acat hist 
forth to Tarsus. 

2. By the Invasion f^isii is here meant — ^ttiat viBit 
of Paul to Jerusalem, by which his arrestation, and 
consequent visit to Rome in a state^ of confinement, 
were produced. Invasion it may well be termed: the 
object of it having manifestly been — the making, in 
that original metropolis of the Christian world, spiri- 
tual (Conquests, at the expense of the gentle sway of the 
Apostles : spiritual acquisitions — not to speak of their 
natural consequences, temporal ones. It was under- 
taken, as will be seen, in spite of the most strenuous 
exertions, made for the prevention of it : made, not 
only by those, whose dominions he was so needlessly 
invading, but by the unanimous remonstrances and 
entreaties of his own adherents. 

The date — assigned to the commencement of this 
visit, is A.D. 60. Interval, between this his last re- 
corded visit and his first, according to the received 
chronology, 22 years. 

Neither of the occasion of it, nor of any individnal 
occurrence which took place in the course of it, have 
we any account — from any other source than the his- 
tory of the Acts. Pauls account is all in generals. 

3. Paul's Jerusalem Visit the Second.-^ According to 
the Acts (Acts xi. 30.) "which also they did, and sent 
*' it to the Elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul,*' 
between these two indisputable interviews of Paul's 
with the Apostles occurs another visit, herein designa- 
ted by the name of the Money-bringing Visit. Under 
the apprehension of a predicted dearth, money is sent 

^. 4. T(^ie.9 ufider Ms Jerusatern Points. 97 

from the Antioch to the Jerusalem saints. Barnabas, 
and with him Paul, are employed in the conveyance of 
it. Time, assigned to this Visit, a.d. 43. Of this vijit, 
not any the least trace is to be found in any Epistle 
of Paul's. Yet, in this Epistle of his to his Galatians, 
he will be seen undertaking in a manner, to g^ve an 
account, of every visit of his to Jerusalem, in which, 
with reference to spiritual dominion, between himself 
and the Apostles, any thing material had ever parsed. 

By this silence of PauFs, no counter-evidence is op- 
posed, to the account given of this visit in the Acts. 
M^at may very well be is, — that he went along with 
the money, and departed, without having had any per*- 
sohal communication with any Apostle, or even with 
any one of their disciples. ' 

4. Depuiaium Visit. PbuKs Jerusalem Visit the 
Third — say his Deputation Visit. ^According to the 
Act 8*, Paul being at the S)rrian Antioch, certain men 
came thither from Judea, teaching, that Mosaic cir- 
cumcision is necessary to Christian salvation. Dis- 
sension being thus produced, Paul, and Barnabas as 
usual with lum, are dispatched to confer on this sub- 
ject with the Apostles and the Elders — ^Time, assigned 
to this visit, a.d. 52. Interval between the first and 
this third visit — ^years 15. 

* Acts XV. 1 — 4. 1. " And cerUun men which came down 
*' from Judea taught the brethren and said. Except ye be circum- 

" cised nfterthe manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When 

" therefore Paul and Barnabas liad no small dissension and dis- 
" putation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas 
^' and certain other of them should go up to Jerusalem unto the 

" Apostles and Elders about this question. 3 . And being brought 

^' on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and 
** Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles : and they 
" caused great joy unto all the brethren.— -41 And when they 
'* were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the Churcji, and 
" of the Apostles and Elders, and they declared all things that God 
^' had done with them.'* 


98 Ch. III. Disbelieved— Conversion t^'Vommission. 

In addition to the first Jerusalem Vwt^ meoAoioed 
as above by Paul, to wit in the first diapter of hia 
Epistle to his Oalatians, — in the second, mention ia 
made of another. 

Of the incidents mentioned by Paul> as belonging 
to this other ^sit, soaroelycan any one, unless it be 
that of his having Barnabas for a companion^ be found, 
that presents itself as being the same with any inci** 
dent mentioned in the Acts, in the aocount given ci 
the above named Deputation Visit. But, between 
the two accounts, neither does any r^ugnance mani- 
fest itself: and, forasmuch as, in a statement, the pur- 
pose of which required that no interview, in which 
any thing material passed between him and the Aflo- 
stles, should pass unnoticed, — he mentions no more 
than one visit besides the first, — ^it seems reasonable 
to conclude, that it was but one and the same visit, 
that, in the penning of both these accounts, was in 

As far as appears, it is from the account thus given 
by Paul of the second, of the two visits mentioned by 
him as made to Jerusalem, that the reodved chrono- 
logy has deduced the year, which it assigns to the De« 
putation Visit, as recorded in the Acts. 

In Paul's account alone — in Paul's, and not in that 
in the Acts — is the distance given in a determinate 
number of years. According to one of two interpreta- 
tions, 17 — the number above mentioned as adopted in 
the current clironology — is the number of years men- 
tioned by Paul as intervening between those two visits. 
But even in this place, a circumstance that must not 
pass altogether unnoticed is, — that, according to an« 
othei^ interpretation, to which the text presents itself 
as almost equally open, the length of the interval 
would be considerably greater. Galatians i. 17: 
" Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which 
" were Apostles before me : but I went into Arabia, 

^. 4. Topics under kis JerusaUm f^uiis. 09 

'' andietunied agmn unto Damascus. 18. Then after 
** three yean I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and 
•* abode with him fifteen days.** After what period ? 
—after that of his conversion ? or after the expiration 
of diis his second visit to Damascus ? Reckoning from 
this latter period, the interval may be ever so much 
greater than that of the three years : for, to the three 
years may be added an indefinite length of time for 
tile second, and even for the first, of his abodes at Da- 
mascus. But, as we advance, reason will appear for 
concluding, that, being in the eyes of the Damascus 
rulers, as weil as the Jerusalem rulers, a traitor — ^in 
the highest degree a traitor^-his abod^ at Damascus 
could not, at either of these times, have been other 
than short as well as secret. 

Gal. ii. 1 : '* Hien, fourteen years after, I went up 
'< again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus 
*' aho."* This being supposed to be the Deputation 
Visit, these fourteai added to the former three, make 
the seventeen. 

5. Peter's Antioeh yisU.^ln Fkurs Epistle, ad- 
dressed to his Gfllatians, as above, — ^immediately after 
the mention of his own second Jerusalem Visit as 
above, comes the mention of an interview, which he 
says he has at Antioeh with Peter : '* Peter bein|; 
*' come (he says) to that place. Gal. ii. 11. In the 
Apts, (xv. 22.) immediately upon the back of the ac- 
counts of the Deputation Visit, as above,— comes an 
account of what may be called a counter Deputation 
Fisit. Of the former Deputation Visit, according to 
the Acts, the result is — ^from the Apostles, the Elders, 
and the whole chureh, a letter, concluding with a de' 
cree : and ** by men chosen of their own company,** 
this letter is stated as having been carried to Antiodi : 
and, with these men, so chosen, Fbul and Barnabas 
are stated as returning to Antioeh, from which city, as 
above, they had been deputed. As and for the names 


100 Chilli. DisbeRetfed-^ Conversion 8f Coinmission. 

of *^ chosen men/' those of Judas, surnamedBarsabas, 
and Silas, are mentioned : " chief men among the bre- 
" thren** is another title by which they are, both of 
them, distinguished. To these, no other names are 
added : in particular, not that of Peter. Thus far 
the Acts. 

As to Paul, in the account he gives, of the discus- 
sion, to which, after — and apparently, as above, in 
cor.sequence of — his secondit/fneniionedrnterview witfi 
Peter at Jerusalem, — no mention is made either of 
Judas Barsabas, or of Silas : of Peter — and him alone 
— it is, that, on this occasion, any mention is made. 
Peter comes, as it should seem, to Antioch from Jeru- 
salem; which last city seems to have been his ordinary 
abode. But, on this occasion likewise, in addition to 
this visitor, mention is again made of Barnabas, of 
whom, as far as appears, from the time of the Re- 
conciliation Visit down to this time, Antioch was the 
ordinary abode. In relation to each of these several 
Visits, a brief preparatory indication of the topic or 
topics, which will be brought to view, when an ac- 
count comes to be given of it, may in this place have 
its use. 

I. Recoficiiiaiion Ftsii. — On this occasion, a diffi- 
culty that naturally presents itself— is — if the relation 
is in substancie true, and the occasion is the same — 
how it can have happened, that if Peter was at Antioch 
-^Peter, the universally acknowledged chief of the 
Apostles — no mention should be to be found of him 
in the Acts : instead of him, two men as yet unknown 
— this Judcis BarsabaSy and this S%l<is — neither of 
them of the number belonging to the goodly fellow- 
ship of the Apostles,- — being the only persons men- 

But, for this difficulty, conjecture presents a so- 
lution, in which there is nothing either in itself im- 
probable, or inconsistent with either of the two ac- 

^. 4. Topics under his Jertisaltm Visits. 101 

counts — ^that of Paul as above, and that in the Acts. 
This is — that those two were the men, and the only 
men, deputed in the first instance : but, that after 
them, at no long interval, came thither to their assist- 
ance that chiei of the Apostles. Whether the im- 
portance of the question be considered — to wit, 
whether, upon being received as^ Christians, Gen- 
tiles should be obliged to submit to Mosaic circum- 
cision — whether the importance of the question, or 
the strenuousness of the debates, to which it is spoken 
of as having given rise (Acts xv. 2,) be considered 
— the visit of the chief of the Apostles at Jerusalem, 
to the scene of controversy at Antioch, presents not 
any supposition, to which any imputation of improba- 
bility seems to attach. 

ACTS XT. 1 to 34. 
]. And certain men which came down from Jude« Uught the brethren and 
said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moeee, ye cannot be 
saeved.-— *S. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension 
and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and 
certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the Apostles and Elders 
about this question. S. And being brought on thdr way by the Church, 
they passed through Pbenice and Samaria, declaring the conrersion of the 
Gentiles, and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.— 4. And when 
they were come to Jerusalem, they were leceiTed of the Church, and of the 
Apostles and Elders, and they declared all things that God had done with 
them.— -5. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which be» 
licTedy saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them 
to keep the law of Moses. g. And the Apostles and Elden came together 
for to consider of this matter.— ^-7. And when there had been much disput- 
ing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that 
a good while ago God made choice amons us, that the Gentiles by my mouth 
should hear the word of the Gospel, ana bdiere. ■ 8 . And God which 
knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as 
he did unto us ; 9. And put no difference between us and them, purifying 
their hearts by faith.—— -10. Now therefore why tempt ye God to put a yoke 
upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we 'were able U> 
bear ?— — 1 1. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
we shall be saved even as they.— —12. Then all the multitude kept silence, 
and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and won- 
ders God bad wrought among the Gentiles by them.— ~>1S. And after they 
had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken 
nnto me.— *I4. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gen- 
tiles, to take out of them a people for his name.— 15. And to this agree the 
words of the Prophets; as it is written , Ig. After this I will return, and 
will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down ; and I will 
build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up :— 1 7. That the residue of 
men might seek after the Lord, and all the' Gentiles, upon whom my name 
is calMr^ith the Lord , who doeth all these .things.— —.18. Known unto 

102 Ch. III. Disbelieved — Conversion Sf Commission. 

God are all his works from the bqpuuiiog of tbe wofldL-^^19. Wkercfoce 
my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Geqtiles are 
turned to God :— ^-SO. But that we write unto itmn, that they abstain from 
pollutions of idols, and from fomication» and from things strangled^ andfitm 
blood.-^— 2 1 . For Moses of old time hath in every city, them duit preadi him, 
bedng read in the synagogues every sabbath-day.— -»2S. Than pitaacd it the 
Apostles and Elders, wiS the whole Church, to send chosen men of their own 
c jmpany to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas ; namely, Judas sumamed Bar- 
sabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren..- ■ ■ 2 8. And they wto/b^ letien 
by them after this manner ; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting 
unto tlie brethren whidi ar« of the Gentiles in Antidch and Syria and c£ 
licitt 24. Forasmuch as we have hetfd, that certain which went out £ram 
us hare troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be 
circumcised ; and keep the law ; to whom we gave no such oomnoandment ; 
2 5. It seemed g<x>d unto us, beine assembled with one accord, to send 
chosen men unto you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul ; 26. Mien 
that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus ChriaL 
27. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you tha same 
things by mouth.— —28. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us^ 

to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary tlungs ; 2^ That 

ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things 
strangled, and from fornication : from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do 
well. Fare ye well.— 30. So when they were dismisseds they came to An* 
tloch : and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the 
Epistle. 81. Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the conaola- 

tion. 32. And Judas and Silsis, being prophets also themsdw^ ezhoited 

the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.*— *3S. And afte tliey 
had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace fhim the brethran unfeD 
the Apostles.— —34. Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there stilL 

GALATIANS ii. 1 to the end. 
1. Then fourteen years af^, I went up again to Jerusalem with Bamabasi 

and took Titus with me also. 2. And I went up by revelation, and oommn- 

nicated unto them that Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but pri- 
vately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or 

had run in vain. 3. But neitlier Tttus, who was with me, being a Greds, 

was compelled to be circumcised. 4. And that because of false brethren 

unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty vrfaich we have 
in Christ Jesus, that they migbt bring us into bondage.— *~5. To whom we 
gave place by subjection, no not for an hour; that the Uuth of the Gospel mi^t 

continue with you. 6. But of those, wlio seemed to be somewhat (whatao- 

ever they were, it maketb no matter to me ; God accepteth no man's person) fbr 
they who seemed to be s(nnewhat, in conference acLded nothing tome ; 

7. But contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospel of the uncircumdsiQii was 
committed unto me, as the Gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter ; 

8. (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the Apostleship of the circum- 
cision, the same was mighty in me towards the GentUes : } 9. And when 

James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that 
was given nnto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fSlowship, 
that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumciaon. 

10. Only they would that wo should remember the poor ; the same which I also 
was forward to do.— 1 1. But when Peter was come to Antioeh, I vritlistood 

him to the face» because he was to be blamed. 12. For before that certain 

came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles : but when th^ were corner 
he witlidrew, and separated himself, fearing ^em which were of the drcumd- 
•ion— .13. And the other Jews dissomblra likewise with him, insomuch that 
Barnabas also was carried away by their dissimulaUon.— — 14. But when I 
saw that they walked not uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel, I said 

^.4. Topic9w%ierhisJenisal€mVisiis. 103 

unto Psctr bcfwe them atti U tboii» being a Jew, Uvest after th« VMumcr of 

Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live aa 
do Ae Jews ?— — 15. We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of tlie Gen- 
iilesy — -"16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law» but 
by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ tliat we 
might be justified by the fiuth of Christ, and not by the works of the law : for 
by the woriu of the law shall no flesh be justified.^— 1 7. But if while we sedc 
to be justified by Christ we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ 

die noniater of sin ? God forbid. 18. Forif I build asain the things which 

I destxoyedi I make myself a transgressor. ' 19. For I through the law am 

dead to the law, that \ might live unto God.— r— 20. I am crucified with 
Christ. Ntfrettfaeiesi I live ; yiet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life 
which I now lire in the flesh* I live by Uie fiuth of the Son of God, who love4 
me, and gave himself fbr me.— 21 . I do not frustrate the grace of God : for 
if rightomonv cotie by the Inw, then Chri&t is dead in vain. 


Of the falsity of his story concerning the manner 
of his conversion, — one proof, that has been given, 
has been deduced from the inconsistency, of the se? 
veral accounts which we have of it — all of them origi- 
nally from himself — as compared with one another. 

Of the erroneousness of the notion of his having 
ever been in the eyes of the Apostles what he pro- 
fessed himself to be — of this, and at the same time of 
the want of correctness, and trustworthiness, in every 
account, which, by him, or from him, is to be seen ren- 
dered, of his proceedings, adventures, and dangers- 
proof will, on the ensuing occasions, be afforded, by 
evidence of this same kind : by similar instances of 
inconsistency, which will be all along brought to view. 

On the occasion of \\\%Jirst visit to Jerusalem — to 
the metropolis of Christendom — ^will be to be noted 
— 1. The cause and manner of his arrival. 2. The 
circumstances of his abode — its duration, and busi- 
ness. 3. The cayse and circumstances of his depar- 
ture. 4. The general result of this his expedition. 

1 • Of the cause of his visit, and manner of his ar- 
rival, we shall see two different accounts: namely, 
one, given by himself directly, in an epistle of bis to 
his disciples in Oalatia ; the other, by a man, who af- 
terwards became his adherent and travelling compa- 
nion — naniely the author of the Acts. 

2. Of the duratipn and business of his abode, wc 

104 Ch.IIL Disbelieved — GmversionSf Copnmiesian. 

shall see, in like manner, two different aoeoutits, de- 
livered respectively by those same pens. 

3. So, of the cause of his departure ; — ^from the 
same two sources. 

4. So, of the circumstances of it. 

5. Of the general result of this same expedition of 
his, we have no fewer than three different accounts : 
namely, the same two as above ; with the addition 
of a third, as reported, in the Acts, to have been 
given by Paul himself, in the course of the speech 
he made, at the time of his fourth visit, to an assem- 
bled multitude, headed by the constituted authorities 
among the Jews : — ^when, after having been dragged 
by force out of the Temple, he would — had he not 
been saved by a commander of the Roman guard — 
have been torn to pieces. 

On this occasion, we shall find, that, by his own con- 
fession, made for a particular purpose — lor the purpose 
of saving his life — under an exigency which allowed no 
time for the study of consistency, and recorded by the 
blindness and inconsiderateness of his biographer ; — 
we shall find, that the account, whatever it was, which, 
on the occasion of this his first visit, he gave of him- 
self to the Apostles, failed altogether in its endea- 
vours to obtain credence. 


Topics under Visit IL — money-bringing visit. 

Of the occasion and particulars of the second of these 
four visits, we have but one account : viz. that which 
is to be seen in the Acts. 

Compared with what belongs to the other visits, 
that which belongs to this is but of small importance. 
The information, to be collected from it, will, how- 
ever, be seen to be this: namely, that this was the 

seeond, of the attempts he made to join himself to the 
Apostles: and that it succeeded no better than the 
fiiBt. It did not ev^i succeed so well: for, notwith- 
standing^ the claims which the business of it gave turn 
to their regard — (it was to bring them a sum of 
money, the fruit of the liberality of the Church at An- 
tiocb) — ^he could not so modi as obtain admittance 
into the presence of any one of them. Without 
much hesitation, this may be affirmed. If he had, 
he would have made mention of it : for, it will be 
seen, that, whatsoever apparent countenance he ever 
succeeded in obtaining^ from them, it was his care to 
make the most of it. 


Remarks on Visit III. — deputation visit. 

Of the occasion, and particulars, and termination, of 
the third of these four visits, we have two, and but 
two, accounts: one — thatgivenintheActs;the other — 
that given by Paul htfnself, as above, in his letter to 
his Galatians : that in the Acts, the only one whidl 
goes into particulars; and which must accordingly be 
taken for the basis of the narrative, and in that cha- 
racter be brought to view in the first instance : that 
given by Paul himself confining itself to generals i 
but, as far as it goes, much more to be depended upon, 
and affording much more instruetion^ than that given 
in the Acts. 

Among its immediate consequences, this third visit 
appears to have had some sort of intercourse between 
Paul and Saint Peter at Antiocb — the next most consi- 
derable seat of the new religion after Jerusalem: at An- 
tioch, to which city, Paul, — who, with Barnabas, had 
been settled there,— r was on his return : Peter being 
then on a temporary visit, made to that place, for the 

lOaCh. IIL J}ideikved^C(mver9wmSf Commissi^. 

final setdement of the bunness, hj whidi the last pie* 
ce^Dg visit of Pool to Jerusalem had been occasionecL 

At the time of this vnit, the residence of I^ial was 
at this same Antioeh. The occasion of it was— the 
dissemination there, of a doctrine, whidi, by oertun 
persons not named, had been imported thither from Je- 
rusalem : a doctrine, according U^ which it was taught 
to the brethren — '* Except ye be circumcised after the 
manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved *.** For the set* 
tiement of this important matter,— ^Barnabas, with 
Paul for his companion, besides other companions not 
named, was, by the brethren at Antioeh, now, for the 
second time, sent, as a delegate, to the brethren at Je« 

On every one of these three visits, it was under the 
protection of this Barnabas (it will be seen) that P&ul 
had presented himself :— on the first of them, for the 
purpose of making known his conversion, and, if pos- 
sible, forming a connexion with the brethren there ;--- 
the second, for the purpose of bringing them money, 
the fruits of the respect and affection of the brethren 
at Antioeh ;*— the third time, for the settlement of this 
importaant point of doctrine. As for Barnabas, Ho was 
a Cyprioij who, as will be seen, had an establidiment 
at Jerusalem: and who, by his indefatigable zeal, add* 
ed to his unrivalled munificence, appears to have ob^ 
tained an influence not exceeded by any but that of the 

Of this same Deputation Visit, being the third of the 
recorded visits of Paul to Jerusalem,— followed by, and 
coupled with, one of Peter to Antioeh— *(Gal. ii. II.) 
the place of Paul's residence, — two most important re- 
sults, or alleged results, are mentioned: the fint (men • 
tioned by the author of the Acts alone) the decree, 
of a council, composed of the Apostles and certain 

•Acta XV. 1,2. 

^7. Topksumln'l^iwmlV.'-^LwmshnP^hid. 107 

other persons, by the name of SUders, at Jerusalem ; — 
which decree, together with a fetfi^, was from thence 
sent by the hands of Judas Barsahas and Silas, to the 
brethren at Antioch; Paul and Barnabas being of the 
party, on their return to that same place : the other 
result, mentioned by Paul idone, a sort of pariiiion 
treaiff^ by which the field of doctrinal labour, and 
thence of spiritual dominion, was divided between him, 
(Paul,) on the one part, and the Apoetks on the other. 
The 4/ewisk world (for a less ambiguous designation 
would hardly find a sufficient warrant) to remtun with 
the Apostles ; the Gentile worlds to be left free to the 
exertions of the declared convert and self-constituted 
Apostle. As to the decree and letter ^ reasons for qnes* 
tioning the authenticity of these documents will be 
hereinafter brought to view*. Of the partition treatyp 
the reality presents itself as altogether natural and pro- 
bable-^and, by circumstantial as well as direct evi- 
dence, suffieiiently established : by direct evidence sup- 
ported, by circumstantial evidence confirmed. 


Topics und«:r Visit IV. — invasion visit. 

Of the occasion of the fourth and last of these four 
visits— calHtPiw^^ Invasion Visit — we have, though 
but from one immediate source, what may, to some 
purposes, be called two distinct and different accounts, 
included one within another : to wit, that which the 
historian gives as from himself, and that which he puts 
into the mouth of his hero, whose adventures be is 
relating. On this subject, from the mouth of the hero, 
the historian has not given us, and probably could not 
give us, any thing but mystery. From the circum- 

■ ■■ ' ' ' ' '■ '>■ '» » I II. ■ 

* Ch. vi. §. 4. 

108* Di^6elieued-^Conve$tsian£f Cc^misskm. 

stances, it will be seen, whether the appellation Imfa* 
siofi Visiiy by which this last of his recorded visits to 
Jerusalem is here distinguished, is not fully justified. 

Neither, of the occurrences which took place during 
the course of it, nor of the mode in which it termi- 
nated, have we any more than one account ; viz. the 
account which, speaking in his own person, is given of 
it by the author of the Acts** 

But, upon one part of this account — and that a part 
in itself in no small degree obscure — flight, and that 

* With a view to the historian's opportunities of information, a 
question, which it may not be amiss all along to keep in mind, is— 
whether^ on the two several occasions, on which the two omtorical 
accounts are in the Acts represented as havbgbeen delivered, the 
historian himself was or was not of the number of the hearers : 
and, in each instance, if he himself was not of that number, whe- 
ther he might at any rate have heard reports of the speech^ from 
any number of those who were ? Not that by himself ^ny inti- 
mation to either effect is any where to be found : and, as to the 
first of the two occasions, namely, that of the speech to Uie tumul- 
tuous multitude, by some of whom Paul had just been dragged out 
of the Temple, — ^the circumstances of the case seem rather adverse 
to the supposition : considering that the place and the nature of the 
solemnity, for which he took up his abode there, seem hardly to 
have admitted his taking with him any attendants : and, if the his- 
torian was not with him at the time when the violence was first 
offered, scarcely could there have been time enough for him to 
have had notice of the extreme peril under which his patron wss 
struggling, and thereupon to have repaired to the spot, and forced 
his way within hearing of PauPs speech. 

Be this as it may, that he must have been in the way to hear, 
from various persons present, accounts, such as they were, of what 
was said by Paul, — seems to follow almost of course. This seems 
applicable even to the latest of the two occasions j for, though the 
place (Cesarea) was some distance from Jerusalemf,— yetthe di- 
stance was not so great, but that the persons, who were attached to 
him, mi^ht, for the most part, be naturally supposed to have fol- 
lowed him : and in particular the historian, who, according to his 
historv, continued in PauPs suite till, at the conclusion of this his 
forcecf excursion, he arrived at Rome. 
But, on the subject of possible materials, one concluding query 

t Say, between fijffy and siity miles. 

§.7. TQpicsunfUr Fisidh IW .^IrkmsiM Visit. 100 

such as, it is believed, will be found to dispel the dark- 
ness, will be seen thrown, by an article of the Mosaic 
law : upon which article, light will beiseen reciprocally 
reflected, by the application here recorded as having 
been made of it. This regards the Temple 9cene : — 
an expensive ceremony spun out for days together 
only to produce the effect of an Oath, 

On the occasion of this visit, in spite of a universal 
opposition on the part of all concerned— his own ad- 
herents and dependents, as well as his adversaries of 
all dasses included, — ^Paul, for reasons by himself 
studiously concealed,^— and, if brought to light at all, 
brought to light no otherways than by inference, — 
will be seen making his entry into Jerusalem, as it 
were by force. In the hope of freeing themselves, as 
it should seem, of this annoyance, it is, — that the ru- 
lers of the Christian church, insist upon his clearing 
himself from certain suspicions, in the harbouring of 
which the whole church had' concurred*. 

here presents itself. On a nibject such as that in question^ on an 
occasion such as that in question, for a purpose such as that in 
question, a speech such as eitherof those in question, might it not, 
by a person in the historian's situation — not to speak of other 
situations — be just as easily made without any special materials, 
as with any the most correct and complete stock of materials ? 

* Between PanPs third visit, and that which is here reckoned 
ai his fourth, another is, by some, supposedf to have taken place : 
on which supposition, this concluding one, which is here styled the 
fourth, ought to be reckoned the £fth. 

But, for the support of this supposition, the grounds referred to 
for this purpose do not seem sufficient : — not that, if the supposi* 
tion were true, any consequence material to the present purpose 
would follow. 

For this supposition, what ground there is, consists in a passage 
inthc Acts:— Acts xviii.20,21,22. 20. When 

j Weill's JOistanaU Geogn^ of the OldandNew Testament, u. 271. Ch. 5. 
Of Saint Paul's TraTcls and Voyages into Asia. " St. PAul (siays Wells very 
composedly) ** having kej)l the passover at Jerasalem, went thence down, &c.* 
—And for this the Acts are quoted as above : but the Acts, it will here be seen, 
sav no such thing. 

110 ChJII. iHsbtUeved-^Conversim 8f Cmmiasian. 



On the occasion of this portion of history, it seems 
particularly material, to bring to view ao observatSon, 
which, on the occasion of every portion of history, it 
will, it is believed, be of no small use to have in re- 

In comparison of self-written biography, searody 
does any other biography deserve the name. 

Faint, indeterminate, uninstructive, deceptive, is 
the information furnished by any other hand, of what- 
soever concerns the state of the mental frame^ in com- 
parison of what is furnished by a man's own. Bven of 
those particulars which make against himself,— -even 

20. When they (the Jews at Ephesus) desired [him] to tany 
longer time with them^ he consented not ; 

21. But bade them farewell, sayuigr> ^ ^^'^ ^ ^ means Xreep 
this feaat that cometh in Jerusalem ; but I will rotorn again unto 
you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus. 

22. And when he had landed at Csesarea, and gone up^ and sa- 
luted the church, he went down to Antioch. 

There we have the grounds of the supposition. But, i^at is the 
support they give to it ? — declaration, affirming the existence of 
an mtention, is one thing; actually existing intention is another. 
Even supposing the existence of the intention in question^ — inten* 
tion is one thing; corresponding action, another. Jerusalem is not 
mentioned. Gsesarea bemg on the sea-coast, Jerusalem is indeed 
in the interior : and therefore (it may be said) is a place, to which, 
if a man went from Cssarea, he would *' go up: " but, from Ck- 
sarea, it being on the coast, a man could not go to any place ia 
Judaia not on the coast, without going up. 

So much for place : — and now as to time. The time mentioned as 
the object of the intention, is the passover -, but, that the time, at 
which, being feme «/}, Paul "saluted the church" — this being all 
which, upon this going up, he is here stated as doing — ^that this time 
was the passover, is not stated. 

As to the salute here stated as given to the c^urcA,-i-at the con^^ 

§. 8. Self-umtten Biogruphjf^f^ahe, ^c. 1 1 1 

of those motives and intentions which he would most 
anxiously conceal, — ^more clear and correct^ as far as 
it goes, if not more comnlete-^is the information 
given by him^ than any which is commonly affosded^ 
even by an impartial hand« By a man^s own hand, 
not unfrequently is information afforded, of a sort 
which makes against himself, and which would not, 
because it could not, have been afforded by any other 
hand, though ever so hostile. He states the self-con- 
demnatory mental facts, the blindness of self-partia- 
lity concealing from his ^es the condemnatory infe* 
rence : or, even with his eyes open» he lays himself 
under the imputation : bartering merit in this or 
that inferior shape, for the merit of candour, or for 
the hope of augmenting the probative force of his own 
self-serving evyence, in favour of every other merit 
for which it is bis ambition to gain credence. 

elusion^ and as a material part of the result, of this inqairy, it will 
appear plain beyond all doubt, that, if by '^ the church" be under- 
stood any member of it at Jerusalem, besides two, or at most 
three, of the Apostles^-^according to this interpretation, from liie 
time of his Conversion Visit to Damascus antecedently to his first 
vbit to Jerusalem, down to the last visit here reckoned as his fourth — 
there never was a day on which the church would have received his 

What will also be rendered manifest is—that it was an ol^ect 
with tlie author of the Acts> to induce a belief, that Paul, before tbe 
conclusion of his first visit, was upon good terms with the churchy 
and so continued to the last : and that, to this end, a purposed mis- 
representation was employed by the historian. 

Not that, in regard to uie visit here in question, to the purpose 
of the argumen^it makes any sort of difference, whether it had 
place or had not. If it had place, neither the conclusion, nor any 
part of the argument, will be seen to require any variation in con- 



Paul disbelieved continued. — First of his /bur f'isits 
to Jerusalem after his Conversion; say Jerusalem 
Visit I. or Reconciliation Visit. — Barnabas in-- 
troduciiig him from Antioch to the Apostles. 





Already on another occasion, and for a different 
purpose, have the two accounts, between which this 
self-contradiction manifests itself, been brought to 
view: viz. on the occasion of the accounts, given or 
supposed to be given, by Paul, of the cause and man- 
ner of his conversion : — accounts given in the first 
place, in writing, and consequently, with all requisite 
time for deliberation, in his Epistle to the Galatians : 
—given, or supposed to be given, in the next place, 
by a speech spoken, namely, that which, in the Acts 
is reported as spoken by him, on the occasion of his 
trial, to Festus and Agrippa : — Festus, the Roman 
Proconsul, Agrippa, the Jewish King. 

In the whole account of this matter, as given by 
Pkiul in his Epistle to the Galatians, how much of 
truth there probably was, and how much of falsehood 
or misrepresentation, — has been seen already in some 
measure, (ch. II. i. 5.) and will be seen more fully as 
we advance. 

As to his motive for this visit, he has endeavoured 
to keep it to himself : but, by the result, according to 
the account he himself gives of it, it is betrayed. It 
was — ^to effect the so much needed reconciliation : — 

§.1. Per Pauly f^tsii distant, 8fc. 113 

h\$ reconciliation with the Apostles : — the Apostles, in 
relation to whom his disregard is professed, the need 
he had of them, no otherwise than virtually, nor yet 
the less effectually, confessed. Without an interval 
of considerable length between his conversion and this 
visit, all such reconciliation would have been plainly 
hopeless. From this circumstance, the length, as 
alledged by him, of his abode in Arabia, receives ob- 
vious and highly probative confirmation. The con- 
firmation is, indeed, reciprocal. The nature of his si- 
tuation, proves the need he had, of an interval of con- 
siderable length, before any hope of reconciliation 
could be fulfilled, or, naturally speaking, so much as 
conceived : by this circumstance, his abode in some 
other country is rendered probable to us : and this 
other country may, for aught we know, as well have 
been the country mentioned by him — ^to ^it, Arabia, 
as any other : and, thus it is, that this assertion, of 
his having been three years in Arabia, between the 
time of his departure from Jerusalem to Damascus, 
and his return to Jerusalem to see Peter, is confirmed : 
— confirmed, by the natural length, of the interval, re- 
quisite to the affording any, the least chance, that Pe- 
ter could be induced to meet upon terms of amity and 
intercourse a man, in whom he beheld the murderer of 
a countless multitude of human beings, linked to him 
by the closest bonds of self-regarding interest, as well 
as sympathy and brotherly love. 

As to contradiction, contradiction cannot easily be 
much more pointed, than it will be seen to be, be- 
tween the account in respect of time, as given in 
this instance by Paul, and the account given of it 
by his historiographer in the Acts. On a double 
ground, it is Paul* s account that claims the prece- 
dence. Of his account, such as it is, the rank, in 
the scale of trustworthiness, is that of immediate 
eiadence ; that of his historiographer, no higher than 

114 Ch. IV« !• Reconciliation Visits Barnabas 8fc. 

that of unimmediate evidence: — evidence oDce re* 
moved ; having, for its most probable and least untrust- 
worthy source, that same immediate evidence. PftuFs 
evidenceis, at the same time, not onlymorecircumstan- 
tiated, but supported by the reasons which he has coir.« 
bined with it. Not till three years after his alledged 
miraculous conversion, did he go near to any of the 
Apostles. — Why? — Because, though, at that time, for 
reasons which he has left us to guess, he had regard- 
ed himself as having considerable need of them, — tiii 
that time he did not regard himself as having any need 
of them. And, why was it, that, for so great a length 
of time, he did not regard himself as having any need 
of them .^-— >The answer he himself gives us. Gal. i. 10 : 
• •••*' do I seek to please men ? — 1 1. I certify to you, 
** brethren, th^t the Gospel which was preached of me, 
•* is not after man. — 12. For I received it not of man, 
** nor was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus 
"Christ. — 15. When it pleased God, who called me 
"by his grace, — 16. To reveal his Son in me, that 
" I might preach him among the heathen, immediately 
" 1 conferred not with flesh and blood : — 17. Neither 
" went I up to Jerusalem to them which were Apostles 
" before me ; but I went into Arabia, and returned 
" again unto Damascus. — 18. Then after three years 
" I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with 
"him fifteen days. — 19. But other of the Apostles 
" saw I none, save James, the Lord's brother." 

Thus far Paul himself. Let us now see, what is said 
in regard to the time, by his subsequent attendant and 

historiographer. Acts ix " as he (Saul) journey- 

" ed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly there 
" shined round him a light/* &c. — ver. 8. " And Saul 
" arose from the earth ; and. . . .they l^d him by the 
" hand, and brought him into Damascus. — 9. And he 
" was three days withjut sight, and neither did eat 
" nor drink. — 10. And there was a certain disciple at 

§.1. Per Pauiy Visti distant, ifc. 1 15 

''Damascus^ named Ananias; and to him said the 

"Lord in a vision. . . . — 11 go into the street 

*' called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas 
" for one called Saul of Tarsus* • . . — 17. And Ana- 
*' nias. . • .entered into the house, and. • • .said, Bro- 
" ther Saul, the Lord. . • .hath sent me, that thou 
" mightest receive thy sight. . . . — 18. And. • • .he 
*' received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 
** — 19. And when he had received meat, he was 
*' strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the 
** discipleswhichwere at Damascus.— 20. And straight- 
" way he preached Christ in the synagogues, . . . . — 

** 22 and confounded the Jews which dwelt at 

^' E>amascus, .... — 23. And after that many days 
** were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him. — 

" 24 and they watched the gates day and night 

^'to kill him. — 25. Then the disciples took him by 
" night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. — 
" 26. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he as- 
" sayed to join himself to the disciples : but they were 
** all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a 
•* disciple. — 27. But Barnabas took him, and brought 
" him to the Apostles, and declared unto them how 
*^ he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had 
" spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at 
" Damascus in the name of Jesus." 

With what the historiographer says in his own per- 
son, agrees, as to the particular point now in question, 
what, in the studied oration, he puts into Paul's mouth. 
In that account likewise, immediately after the men- 
tion of what Paul did at Damascus, — ^follows, the men- 
tion of what he did at Jerusalem : and, as to every 
thing done by him among the Gentiles, not only does 
the mention of it come after the mention of what was 
done by him at Jerusalem, but, between the two, comes 
the mention, of whatever was done by him, in any of 
the coasts of Judea. Acts xxvi. 1 9. ** Whereupon, 

1 2 

116 Ch. IV. !• Reconciliation J^isii, Barnabas 8fc. 

** O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the 
•* heavenly vision :-^20. But showed, first unto them 
^ of Damascus, and of Jerusalem, and throughout all 
*' the coasts of Judea ; and then to the Gentiles, that 
*^ they should repent and turn to God, and do works 
" meet for repentance.** 

Here then, according to Paul's own account, after 
his visit to Damascus from Jerusalem, he visited Ara- 
bia, and moreover Damascus a second time, before he 
made his visit to Jerusalem to see Peter : before this 
visit did he make both those other visits; and, in 
making them, pass three years, with or without the 
addition, of the time, occupied by his first visit to 
Damascus, — and the time, occupied by his abode 
in Arabia. According to Paul's own account then, 
between his second departure from, and his arrival at, 
Jerusalem from thence, there was an interval either 
of three years, or of so much more than three years. 
On the contrary, according to both the accounts given 
of the matter by his historiographer in the Acts, there 
was not between the two events in question, any in- 
terval other thaji such as the journey from the one to 
the other — about 130 British miles as the crow flies, 
say about 160, allowance made for turnings and wind- 
ings, — would require. 

Now, as between Jews and Gentiles, alias hea- 
thens : — to which of these two descriptions of persons, 
were his preachings addressed in the first instance ? 

According to his Epistle to his Galatians, preaching 
to the heathen being his peculiar destination, this ac- 
cordingly is the vocation upon which he proceeded in 
the first place : and we have seen how probable it is, 
not to say certain, that, in this particular, what he as- 
serted was true. His appointment being to *' the hea- 
" then,*' he conferred not with flesh and blood : i. e. 
with the Apostles, their immediate disciples, or other 
flesh and blood of the Christian persuasion : for, of any 
suchconference— of any assistance or support from any 

§. 1. Per Paul, Vmt distant, 8fc. 117 

such quarter, he has, in this same Epistle, been declar- 
ing and protesting — most vehemently protesting — that 
he had no need. Neither then for the purpose of con- 
ference with ** those who were Apostles (as he says) be- 
*'fore him/' nor for any other purpose, went he up to 
Jerusalem : no, not till either three years after his con- 
version, or three years, with the addition of another 
term of unmeasurable length. 

Now then, how stands this matter according to the 
Acts — according to the speech put into PauFs mouth 
by the author of the Acts ? Instead of the Gentiles 
being the description of persons, to whom, in the first 
instance, he applies his labours, — it is the Jews. What 
he shows is " shaum^ in the first place, to those •* of 
Damascus ;** then " at Jerusalem ;" then ** through- 
out all the coasts of Judea;** and, not till then — to 
the Gentiles : of his abode in Arabia— of any visit of 
his to Arabia — not any the slightest mention, or so 
much as allusion to it. But, all this while, for any 
thing that appears to the contrary, Arabia was com- 
pletely open to him : whereas, after the offence he 
had committed against the authority of the ruling 
powers at Judea, it was not, morally speaking, in 
the nature of things that he could have continued in 
any place coming within that description — have con- 
tinued, long enough to make any sensible impression : 
and, in Jerusalem in particular, in this same Epistle 
to the Galatians, from which the above particulars are 
taken, — ^it was, as he himself declares, only in secrecy, 
that, even fourteen years after this, he ventured to 
disseminate those doctrines, whatever they were, that 
were peculiar to himself*. " Then, fourteen years 
'' after, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, 
" and took Titus with me. 2. And I went up by re- 
" velation, and communicated unto them that Gospel 
** which I preach among the Gentiles, but/^rtVfl/tf^ to 

*Gal.ii. J, 2. 

H8 Ch. IV. 1. Reconciliation Visit y Barnabas &fc. 

** them which were of reputation, lest by any means I 
" should run, or had run, in vain." 

Thus stands the contrariety : — the contrariety, be- 
tween Paul's own account of his own proceedings, 
and the account, which, by the author of the Acts, he 
is represented as giving of them, on another occasion. 
Says Paul himsel/, in Ijis own EJpistle to his Gala- 
tians — After my conversion, it was to the Gentiles 
that I applied myself first : to the Jews, not till after- 
wards ; nor then, to any considerable extent Says the 
author of the Acts^ in a speech, which he puts into the 
mouth of Paul — It was to the Jews that he applied 
himself first, and that to a great extent : to the Gen- 
tiles, not till afterwards. 

Thus stands the contrariety, taken in itself. As to 
the cause, it will neither be far to seek, nor dubious. 
In the differences of situations, occasions, and pur- 
poses in view — in the differences, that had place in 
respect of all those particulars — it will be found. 

On the occasion, on whicii Paul himself speaks, 
what was the persuasion which it was his endeavour 
to produce ? It was — that, for a number of years, 
commencing from the moment of his conversion, — 
with no persons, who, to this purpose, could be called 
JeivSy had he, to any such purpose as this, had any 
intercourse : for, this being admitted, it followed, of 
course, that, if, on the subject of the religion of Jesus, 
he had really received the information he declared 
himself to have received, it was not from the Apo- 
stles, that he had had it, or any part of it. " On them 
" (says he) I am perfectly independent : to them I 
" am even superior. With Jesus they had no com- 
*' munication but in a natural way ; with the same 
** Jesus / have had communication in a supernatural 

way : — in the way of * revelation^ My communi- 
** cation with him is, moreover, of a date posterior to 
" theirs — to any that they can pretend to : in so far 
" as there is any contrariety between what I teach and 


§• 1. Per Paul, Visit distant, ^c, 1 19 

'* what they teach^ it is for theirs, on both these ac- 
'* counts — it is for theirs^ to yield to mine. From God 
*' is my doctrine : in opposition to it, if either they, 
*' or any other men presume to persevere, let the curse 
" of God be on their heads, (ver. 8.) Accordingly, at 
'' the tinlb of my first visit to Jerusalem after my con*> 
" version, no communication had I with them (for, no 
*' such communication, teaching as I did from revela* 
'* tion, could I stand in need of), I had already passed 
*' three years 9t least in Arabia, teaching to the Gen- 
•* tiles there my peculiar doctrine. This peculiar doc- 
" trine, as I made no scruple of teaching it to those 
'' Gentiles, as little, on the occasion of that visit of 
^* mine to Jerusalem, did I make any scruple of teach- 
" ing it to Jews as well as Gentiles. T'uc it is, I did 
•* not then teach it publicly v — I did not teach my pe- 
'^ culiar doctrine, so publicly as they did theirs. But, 
^' as to this comparative secrecy, it had for its cause 
'^ the advantage of being free from opposition : for, 
** had the fact of my teaching this doctrine — so differ- 
** ent from theirs — ^been known to them, — they might 
'^ have opposed it, and thus my labours might have 
" been lost." 

Whether, in the representation here given of what 
he says to his Galatians, there be any misrepresenta- 
tion, the reader may judge. 

On the occasion, on which his historian represents 
him as speaking, what now, as to this same matter, 
was the persuasion, which the nature of his situation 
required him to endeavour to produce ? It was, that 
Jews were the sort of persons, with whom, during the 
period in question, he had, to the purpose in ques- 
tion, been holding intercourse : Jews, even in pre- 
ference to— not to say to the exclusion of — Gentiles: 
so far is he from being now represented, as stating 
himself to have held converse with Gentiles, to the 
exclusion of Jews ; which is, that of which he him- 
self has been seen taking so much pains to persuade 

120 Ch. IV. I. Reconciliation Fisii, Barnabas 8fc. 

his Galatian disciples. Yes : as far as competition 
could have place, Jews, on this occasion, in prefer^ 
ence^ at least, to Gentiles : for, on this occasion, what 
he was labouring at was — to recommend himself to 
the favour of his Jewish Judge (King Agrippa*,) by 
magnifying the services he had been rendering to the 
Jews, his very accusers not excepted : services, to the 
rendering of which, close and continued intercourse, 
during that same period, could not but have been ne- 

* On this occasion, being accused of — ^his historian 
does not choose to say what, — ^his defence was — that, 
of the persecution he was suffering, his preaching the 
resurrection was the only real cause : that, having 
been born and bred a Pharisee, — in preaching that 
doctrine, so far from opposing, he had been support- 
ing, with all his might, the principles maintained by 
the constituted authorities : adducing, in proof of the 
general proposition, the evidence furnished by a par- 
ticular fact (the resurrection,) that had place in the 
case of Jesus (Acts xxv. 19) : that when, in his con- 
version vision, Jesus gave him his commission, the 
principal object of that commission was — the instruc- 
tion of the Gentiles: to wit, by informing them — that, 
to such of them as would believe in the resurrection, 
and repent of their sins, and do works accordingly, — 
the benefit of it would be extended : that to this man* 
date, it was true, he did not ultimately fail to pay sub- 
stantial obedience : yet, such was his affection for his 
brethren the Jews, — that it was not till, for a considerr 
able time, he had been conferring on tAem the benefit 
of his labours, that he betook himself to the Gentiles. 
(Acts xxvi. 19.) " I was not disobedient unto the hea- 
•* venly vision : — 20; But showed first unto them of 
*' Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the 
*' coasts of Judea ; and then to the Gentiles, that they 

* Acts xxvi. 8— 20, 2J. 

§. 1. Per Paul, Visii distant, ^c. 121 

'^ should repent, &c. — 21. For these causes the Jews 
'* caught me in the Temple, and went about to kill me.*' 

The repugnancy, (says somebody) the repu£:nancy, 
is — not between Paul and Paul — but between Paul and 
the author of the Acts ; and, since the facts in ques* 
tion are occurrences in which Paul himself was either 
agent or patient, to the author of the Acts, and not to 
Paul, is the incorrectness, wherever it be, to be im- 
puted. Be it so : for the purpose of the argument 9t 
least, be it so : but, if so it be, what are we to think 
of the author of the Acts ? Take away the author of 
the Acts, what becomes of Paul ? Take away the 
authority of the Acts in the character of an inspired 
writer — writing from supernatural inspiration, after an 
immediate and continued intercourse, in some unex- 
plained and inexplicable manner, with the Almighty, 
— what remains, then, of the evidence, on the ground 
of which the mighty fabric of Paul and his' doctrine 
has been erected ? 

A man, who is thus continually in contradiction — 
sometimes with himself, at other times with the most 
unimpeachable authorities — ^what credence can, with 
reason and propriety, be given to his evidence, in rela- 
tion to any important matter of fact? at any rate, when 
any purpose, which he himself has at hearty is to be 
served by it ? Of such a man, the testimony — the un- 
cross-examined and uncross-examinable testimony — 
would it, of itself, be sufficient to warrant a verdict, on 
a question of the most inconsiderable pecuniary im- 
port ? how much less then, on questions, in compa- 
rison of which those of the greatest importance which 
the affairs of this life admit of, shrink into insigniii* 
cance ? Even, suppose veracity, and every other branch 
of probity, unimpeached and unimpeachable, — if such 
confusion of mind, such want of memory, such negli- 
gence, in relation to incidents and particulars, of too 
immensely momentous a nature, to escape, at any in- 
terval of time, from the most ordinary mind ; — if such 

122 Ch. IV, 1. Reconciliation Vuni^ Barnabas 8fc* 

want of attention, such deficiency, in respect of the 
most ordinary intellectual faculties and attainments, 
are discernible in his narrative, — ^what solid, what sub- 
stantial ground of dependence can it furnish, or even 
leave in existence ? 

Of this sort are the questions, for which already no 
inconsiderable warrant has, it is believed, been found ; 
nor, if so, throughout the whole remaining course of 
this inquiry, should they ever be out of mind. 



On this head, in addition to, and in explanation of, 
the sort of narrative given in the Acts, — information, 
of the most instructive and impressive stamp, may be 
seen furnished by himself : at the head of it, may be 
placed that, which may be seen in his Epistle to his 
Galatian converts. 

At Jerusalem was the board-room in which sat the 
Council of the Apostles : of those men, to whom their 
bitterest enemies would not, any more than their 
disciples and adherents, have refused the appellation 
of constant companions and selected disciples of the 
departed Jesus. To them was known, every thing 
that, in relation to Jesus, was known to any one else : 
and moreover, in unlimited abundance, particulars not 
capable of being known by any one else. 

As to Paul, let us suppose him now a believer in 
Jesus ; and, on this supposition, note what could not 
but have been the state of his mind, with relation to 
those select servants of Jesus. 

In them he beheld the witnesses — ^not only of the 
most material and characteristic acts and sayings of 
their Master, but of his death, and its supernatural 

^.2. PauTs Hope of Reconciliation — Grounds. 123 

consequences — ^the resurrection and ascension, with 
which it had been followed. 

In thetn he beheld — not only the witnesses of his 
miracleSy but a set of pupils, to whom such powers of 
working the like miracles — such miraculous powers, 
in a word, as it had pleased him to impart, — had been 

In their labours, he beheld the causes of whatsoever 
prosperity, he found the society, established by them, 
m possession of. 

In himself, he beheld the man, who, with such distin- 
guished acrimony and perseverance, had done his ut- 
most, for the destruction of that society, into which, 
for the purposes, indication of which has been so clearly 
given by his own pen, he was preparing to intrude 

To form an ostensible cause for his intrusion,*— jn 
addition to such information, as, by means of his per- 
secution, it had happened to him to extract from those 
whom he had been persecuting, what, on his part, had 
he ? — He had his own learning, his own talents, his 
own restless and audacious temper, and the vision he 
had got up : — the baseless fabric of that vision, a view 
of which has just been given. 

Of the representation thus given of the matter,*^ 
whether we take his own account of it^ or that of the 
Acts, — suppose the truth to rest upon no other ground 
than this vision, with or without that other vision, 
which has been seen so slenderly tacked to it, and so 
strangely inserted into it, — thus slender is the ground^ 
on which we shall find him embarking upon his enter- 
prize, — assuming to himself, without modification or 
apology, the name of an Apostle, — thrusting himself 
into the society, and putting himsedf altogether upon an 
equality, not to say more than an equality, with the 
whole company of the men, whose title to that appella- 
tion was above dispute : — those of them who, among 
the chosen, had been the most favoured, not excepted. 

124 Ch, IV. !• Reco7iciliatton Visit, Barnabas Sfc. 

GALATiANS i. 11—23. 
11. But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of 

me is not afler man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I 

taught Ut but by the lerelation of Jesus Christ.— ^— IS. For ye have bcaid of 
my conversation in time past in the Jews* religion, how that beyond measure 
1 persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it :— -14. And profited in die 
Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceed- 
ingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.— 15. But when it pleased 
God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called tm by his grsce, 
—16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the hea- 
then; immediately I conferred not with fleSi and blood , 17. Neither 
went I up to Jerusalem to them which were Apostles before me ; but I went 
into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18. llien after three 
years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 
—-19. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's bro- 
ther.— ——20. Now the things which 1 write unto you, behold, before Gud, 
I lie not— 21. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilictsi 
—22. And was unknown by face unto the Churches of Judea which were 

in Christ. 23. But they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in 

times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 

Thus, however indistinctly and incoherently stated, 
stands the matter, on the surface of both these ac- 
counts. On the surface. But, by a little reflection on 
the nature of the case — the obvious and indisputable 
nature of the case — as collected from all accounts (as 
already brought to view in a preceding chapter*), we 
shall be led to another conception, and the only tena- 
ble one. 

The plan of worldly ambition — that plan by which 
we have already seen his outward conversion produced 
— had been not only formed, but acted upon : — acted 
upon, during a course of at least three years : of three 
years, employed at Damascus in preparation, — in Ara- 
bia in probation. What remained, and was now be- 
come necessary, was — some sort of countenance from 
the Apostles : from the Apostles, and thence, if pos- 
sible, from the rest of the then existing Church. Ne- 
cessary altogether was this countenance for his sup- 
fort : for, to this plan the name of Jesus was essential, 
t was in that name, that all his operations were to be 
carried on : — in that name, from the use of which it 
was to be universally understood, that it was accord- 
ing to directions, and with support, from the departed 

* Ch. 11. 

^,2, PauPs H(rpc of Reconciliation — Grounds. 125 

Jesus, that by this, his newly-enlisted servant, every 
thing was said and done. 

In Damascus — ^yes : — in Damascus, where were the 
only persons, with whom, for the purpose of his do- 
minion, he could with safety communicate : that is to 
say, persons, whom his commission from the Jerusa- 
lem authorities had placed under his power. In Ara- 
bia — yes: where, though he had made no progress of 
which he saw any advantage in giving any account — 
he at any rate had not experienced any opposition, of 
such a sort as to engage him to drop his scheme. In 
those comparatively distant countries — yes. But, in 
Jerusalem — the birth-place of Jesus and his religion, 
— in that metropolis, within which, or the near neigh- 
bourhood of it^ all the witnesses of its rise and progress 
— ^all the proselytes, that had been made to it, were 
collected, — ^and from whence, and to which, the vota*- 
ries of that religion, out of which it had sprung, would 
be continually flocking from all quarters; — in this 
place, for a man, known so notoriously to them all as 
a persecutor, in whose scheme of persecution they had 
all of them been involved, — for such a man to have, 
all on a sudden, begun preaching and acting, in the 
name of that Jesus, whom, to use his own language, 
he had persecuted — such an enterprise as this, (which, 
even with the utmost support which it was in their 
power to give, would have been audacity) would, with- 
out some sort of countenance from them, — have been 
downright madness. 

To perfect success it was necessary, that not only 
these shepherds of the Church pasture, but, through 
them the whole flock, should thus be brougiit under 
management. So far as regarded those same i^lers^ 
we shall find him, in a certain degree, — and even, with 
reference to his purpose, in a sufficient degree, — suc- 
cessful. But, with reference to the Disciples in ge- 
neral, and to all those rulers but three, — it will be 
seen to have completely failed. 

126 Cli, IV. 1. ReconcUiation Visit , Barnabas 8fc, 

Circumstanced as he was, to those rulers alone, was 
it possible for him to have addressed himself, with any 
the smallest hope. To any assembly of the faithful 
at large, to have repaired with no better recommenda- 
tion than his vision story, — even with Barnabas, ready, 
as we shall see, to take him by the hand, — ^would have 
been plainly hopeless. Not less so would it have been 
— to present himself to the Apostles, — if, in support 
of such proposition as he had to make, — nothing more 
apposite, nothing to them in their situation more cre- 
dible, than this same vision story, — had been capable 
of being produced. On them, therefore, (the case 
seems fljlready pretty well ripe for the conclusion^ that) 
no sucl^ story was ever attempted to be passed. But, 
setting iside that aerial argument, — inducements of a 
more substantial nature, such as we shall find brought 
to view by Paul himself, were neither on this occasion 
wanting, — nor could, at any time, have been out of 
the view of that same Barnabas, whom we shall see 
appearing so often, in the character of his generous 
patron and steady friend. ^' On this plan (might Bar- 
" nabas say to them) — On this plan, which he has 
" chalked out for himself, he will be acting — not only 
*• not in opposition to, but even in furtherance of, 
*' your wishes and endeavours. Grecian as he is, — 
" skilled in that language, and that learning, which 
" serves a man as a passport through the whole of the 
** Gentile world, — it is to that world that his labours 
** will confine themselves ; a field surely ample enough 
" for the most comprehensive views. To you he will 
** leave, — and leave certainly without privation, and 
" therefore naturally without regret, — that field, of 
" which you are already in possession, — and, by the 
** boundaries of which, your means of convenient cul- 
*• ture are circumscribed." 

" On this plan, — not only will your exertions re- 
** main unimpeded, but the influence of the name of 
" Jesus — that name, on the influence of which those 

^•2. PauTs Hope of ReconciUation — Grounds. 127 

'* same exertions are so materially dependent for their 
•* success, — will, in proportion to Paul's success, be 
« extended/' 

In a discourse, to this effect, from the generous and 
enlightened mediator, — may be seen the natural origin 
of that agreement, which, further on in its place, under 
the name of t\iQ partition treaty ^ there will be occasion 
to bring, in a more particular manner, under review. 

But, what is little less evident, than the propriety 
and prudence of this plan, (viewed at least in the point 
of view in which it might not unnaturally be viewed 
by Barnabas,) is — the impossibility, of coming forward, 
with any tolerable prospect of success, with any such 
plan in hand, in presence of a vast and promiscuous 
assemblage.. To engage, on the part of any such as- 
semblage, not to say any steady confidence, but any the 
slightest hope, — ^that, from an enemy even to death, the 
same man would become a partner and assistant^ — 
would require a most particular and protracted expo- 
sition, of all those facts and arguments, which the re- 
quisite confidence would require for its support : — a 
detail, which no such assembly would so much as find 
time to listen to, were it possible for it to find patience. 
Even in the case of the Apostles themselves, — taking 
the whole council of them together, the nature of the 
plan, it will be seen, admitted not of any successful 
negotiation. Accordingly, to the chief of them alone, 
to wit, to Peter, was it so much as the intention of Paul 
to make any communication of it in the first instance: 
and, in the whole length of the intercourse, such as it 
was, that he J^ept up with them — in all the four visits, 
in the course of which that intercourse was kept up- 
being a period of not less than twenty-five years, to 
wit, from the year 35 to the year 60, — with no more 
than three of the eleven, will he be seen so much as 
pretending to have had any personal interview: they 
not seeing him, except when they could not avoid it ; 
and the others never seeing him at all. 

128 Ch. IV. 1. Reconciliation Visit, Barnabas Sfc. 


After his conversion — after the time at which, if he 
is to be believed, he saw that first-mentioned of his 
visions — that vision, by whicbthe most strenuous op- 
ponent of the new religion was changed into one who, 
in profession, was the most active of its supporters, — 
what was the course he took? Did he repair imme- 
diately to Jerusalem from whence he came ? Did he 
present himself to the eleven Apostles — to the confi- 
dential companions of the departed Jesus, to lay be- 
fore them his credentials ? to report to those by whom 
every thing about Jesus that was to be known to man 
was known — what had been experienced by hira ? — 
by him, Paul, by whom, till the moment of that ex- 
perience, nothing of it whatever had been known? 
Not he, indeed. Behold what he says himself. 

Instead of so doing, off be goes, in the first instance 
to Arabia ; from whence, at the end of a length of 
time not specified, he returns to Damascus. 

At length, however, to Jerusalem he does repair: at 
length, into the presence of those against whose Uvea 
he had so long conspired, — ^he now uses his endea- 
vours to intrude himself. 

At length ? at the end then of what length of time? 
At the end of three years ? Yes : but from what 
point of time computed? From the time of his con- 
version on the road, — or from the last day of his stay 
at Damascus, upon his return thither from Arabia ? 
By that man, let an answer to these questions be 
given — by that man who can find grounds for it. 

Thus much, however, may, at any rate, be said: — of 
the length of this interval three years is the minimum. 

In what view did it occur to him to seek this con- 
ference ? in what view to make the attempt ? and in 
what view delay it ? 

§. 3. Occasion of this f'^isit, as per Paul. 129 

1 . As to his view in seeking it, — ^it must be left to in- 
ference : — to conjecture, grounded on circumstances. 

1 n Being engaged, as he was, in the plan of making 
converts to a religion, called by him the reli^on of 
Jesus, — and this among the nations at large — among 
others besides those in the bosom of whose religion 
the founder of the new religion had been born ; — feel- 
ing, as it seemed to him, the need, of information in 
various shapes — concerning the acts and sayingsof Je- 
sus ; — not having, for the purpose, had, as yet, access, 
to any of the persons, to whom the benefit, of an in- 
terview with Jesus, upon terms of peculiar confidenee, 
had been imparted ; — he was desirous, of taking this 
— his only course — for rectifying the misconception, 
under which, to no small extent, he must probably 
have been labouring, — and filling up the deficiencies, 
under which he could not but be labouring. 

2. Obvious is the need he had,of countenance from 
these universally acknowledged chiefs, of the religion 
professed to be taught by him. 

Good (says some one) : bu% having, from the first, 
been thus long labouring, under ^e need of informa- 
tion,: — how happened it, that he so long delayed, the 
exertions he made at length, for the obtaining of it ? 

The answer is surely not unobvious. 

Had the time, of his presenting himself, been 
when the memory of his conversion was fresh, — ^when 
the memory, of the vision, by which it was to be stated 
as having been effected, would (supposing it really 
experienced) have been fresh also, — in such case, 
the narrative, true or untrue, would have found, op- 
posed to its reception, all imaginable repugnance, m 
so many ulcerated minds: and, on the supposition of 
its being untrue, he — ^the supposed percipient and actu- 
ally narrating witness — ^he, who knew nothing about the 
subject of his testimony, would have had to submit him- 
self to the severest imaginable cross-examination, at 


130 Ch. IV. 1. Reconciliation Visits Barnabas 8fc. 

the hands of those, to whom every thing about J^sus 
was matter of perfect knowledge. 

Thus the matter would have stood, in the first in- 
stance. On the other hand» as time ran on, several 
results, favourable to his design, would naturally have 
taken place. 

1. The exasperation, produced by the experience 
of the persecution suffered at his hands, would have 
been diminished. 

2. His own recollection, of the particulars, might be 
supposed less vivid. 

3. The curiosity, respecting them, wpuld have be- 
come less eager. 

4. Time might have given admission to behaviour 
on his part, of a sort, by which distrust might be les- 
sened, confidence strengthened. 

Well ; now we have him at Jerusalem, — ^and for 
the first time after his conversion. When thus, at 
Jerusalem, — of those whom he went to see, whom did 
he actually see ? Answer, Peter for one ; James, 
whom he styles the Lord's brother, and who, accord- 
ing to him, though not literally a brother, was, how- 
ever, a kinsman of Jesus : — these two, according to 
his own shewing ; these two, and no more. "Then 
" after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, 
" and abode wiih him fifteen days. But of the other 
" Apostles saw I none, save James, the Lord's bro- 
** ther." Gal. i. 18, 19. 



Such as hath been seen is PauFs account of the mat- 
ter : — PauFs own account, of the interval that elq)s- 
ed, between his conversion, and the first of his subse- 
quent visits to Jerusalem : — to the residence of the 

^.4. Occasion of this Visits as per Acts. 131 

Qiristians, whom he had been persecuting, and of 
the rulers, under and by the authority of whom, the 
prsecution had been carried on. Such, loose as it is, 
IS his account, of the interval between these two events : 
and of the place, in which, either almost the whole, 
or at any rate the greatest part of it, was passed. 

Such was PauFs own account of his own proceed- 
ings, — at the distance of twenty-five years and more. 
Compare with it, now, the account, given by his histo- 
riographer — given, of the interval, that, according to 
him, had place, between these same two events *. 

Here, no Aree years sojournment in Arabia : no 
visit to that country : no notice, of any place, other 
than Damascus, as being a place, in which the whole, 
or any part, of the time in question, was passed. In 
a position, with respect to each other, scarcely dif- 
ferent -from that of contiguity, — are the two events 
brought together. The blood of their disciples scarce 
washed from off his hands, when, with Barnabas for 
his introducer, he presents himself to the Apostles ! 

At the very time, when the Jerusalem rulers, would 
have been expecting to receive from him, the proofs 
of his punctuality, in the execution of the important 
plan, of official oppression, of which, at his own in- 
stance, he had been solemnly constituted and ap- 
pointed the instrument; when, after going over to and 
fonning a league with the criminals (for such they 
must have been called), whom he had been commis- 
sioned by these rulers to bring to justice ; — at this very 
time it is, that he returns to the seat of their domi- 
nion : — to the place in which, at that very time, his re- 
turn to them, with the intended victims in captivity, 
could not but be the subject of universal expectation ! 

Lei any one now judge, whether, in any state of 
things, natural or supernatural, the sort of conduct 
thus supposed is credible. 

4^t Damascus, instead of presenting himself to the 

* Acts ix. 19—29, 
K 2 

J 32 Ch. IV. 1. HeconcUiaiiofi Visits Barnabas 8fc. 

Damascus rulers, to whom the commission of which 
he was the bearer was addressed^ — the first persons, 
whom, according to this account, Acts ix. l9. he sees, 
are " the disciples,** i . e. the persons whom, by that 
commission, he was to arrest : and, with them, in- 
stead of arresting them, he passes ^' certain days.** 

These certain days ended, — does he thereupon, with 
or without an apology, present himself to these same 
rulers ? Not he, indeed. Not presenting himself to 
them, does he, by flight or otherwise, take any mea- 
sures, for securing himself, against their legitimate and 
necessarily intended vengeance ? No such thing : — 
instead of doing so, he runs in the very face of it. 
He shews himself in the Jewish synagogues, in the pub- 
lic places of worship : and there, instead of preaching 
Moses and his law, he preaches Christy — that Christ, 
whose disciples he was commissioned to extirpate. 

This breach of trust — this transgression (which, 
however commendable in itself, could not but, — ^in the 
eyes of all those by whom, or for whom, he was in 
trust,-*-be a most flagitious and justly punishable act 
of treachery) — could it even from the first, for so much 
as two days together, remain unknown ? Not it, in- 
deed : if, in this particular, to this same inversion 
story, as related by this same author, any credit is due. 
For, according to this same account, — in this same jour- 
ney, and at the very time of his conversion vision, was 
he alone .^ No; he had companions: companions, who, 
whatsoever became of him, would, at the very time of 
his entrance, unless any cause can be shown to the 
contrary, have entered thither in due course. Well 
then— ask the men in authority, — "This Paul, in 
whose train you came,—- whereishe,whathas become 
of him ?^* Such would of course have been the ques- 
tions put to these, his companions, even on the suppo- 
sition, that by these same coippanions, no visit had, of 
their own accord, been paid to these same rulers, 
under whose authority they went to place themselves. 

^.4. Occasion oflhis Viait^ as per Acts, 133 

At length, — and the days which by this time had 
elapsed were ^^many^ — hefinds it expedient to quit Da- 
mascus. He is driven from thence: but by what force? 
By the exercise of the legal authority of the offended 
rulers ? in a word, by public vengeance ? No: but by 
a private conspiracy — nothing more : for, to these ru- 
lers, — so different are they from all other rulers, — 
whether their authority is obeyed or contemned, has, 
all the while, been matter of indifference. 

ACTSU. 19— sa 
1 9. And when he had rcceiTed meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul 
certain day* with the dtiadpUt which were at Damascus.— 2a And straight- 
way he prrached Ckria in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.-*— 21. 
But an that heard him wt?re amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed 
them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, 
that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?-^ 22. But Saul in- 
creased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damas- 
cus, piroving that this is very Christ.—— 23. And after that many dnyt were ful- 
filled, the Jews took counsel to kill him : 24. But their laying await was 

known 6f Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.— « 
515. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a 
haakct, 26. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join 
himself to the disciples : but they were all airaid of him, and believed not that he 
was a disciple.— 27. But Barna)>as took him, and brought him to the apo- 
sties, and declared unto them how he had seen the Iwiord in the way, and that 
he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the 
name of Jesus. 28. And he was ndth them coming in and going out at 

Jerusalem. 29. And he spake boldly in the name of the Ix)rd Jesus, 

and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.-*— 
SOL Which, when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Cesarea, and 
sent hun forth to Tarsus. 

In the above account — ^a remarkable incident is pre- 
sented, by the occasion and manner of his escape from 
Damascus. In part, it has for its support an assertion 
made by Paul himself; but, as usual, as to part it is 
scarcely recondleable with the account he gives of it. 
In respect of the adventure of the basket^ the two ac- 
counts agree : and thus the occasion is identified and 
fixt. It is in respect of the description of the persons, 
by whom the attack upon him was made or medi- 
tated, that the accounts differ. According to the Acts, 
the hostile hands are those of the Jews, who are spoken 
of as so many unauthorized and criminal conspira- 
tors : but, aecording to Paul, they are those of the 

134 Ch. IV. I. Recmciliaiion Visits Barnabas &fc. 

constituted authorities — a governor acting under a 

31. "In Damascus*" — (says he, in the Second of 
his two Epistles to the Corinthians *.)•»" In Damas- 
** cus, the governor under Aretas the king kept the 
" city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to 
" apprehend me. 32. And through a window in a 
" basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his 
" hands." 

Now, supposing the adverse force to have been that of 
a band of conspirators, it was natural for them to watch 
the ''city gates:" a more promising resource they could 
scarcely have had at their command. But, suppose it to 
have been that of the governor, — ^what need had he to 
watch the gates ? he might have searched houses. By 
the reference made, to a matter of fact, which, suppos- 
ing it real, must in its nature have been notorious — ^to 
wit, the existence of a king, of the name in question, 
in the country in question, at the time in question — 
a comparative degree of probability seems to be given 
to Paul's account. A curious circumstance is — ^that, 
in this Epistle of Paul's, this anecdote of the Basket 
stands completely insulated ; it has not any the slightest 
connexion with any thing that precedes or follows it. 

In the Acts' account, as already observed t, it looks 
a6 if it was immediately after the adventure of the 
basket, that he went on this his first visit to the Apo- 
stlt^s at Jerusalem : for, as we see» it is immediately 
thereupon that his arrival at that city is mentioned. 
If so, the abode he had then been making at Damas- 
cus, was probably after his return from Arabia : that 
return from Arabia, which we have seen him speaking 
of in his Epistle to the Galatians, Gal. i. 15. '' When 
*' it pleased God . . . . ( 16.) toreveal his son to me,tliat 
'' I might preach him to the heathen ; immediately 
" I conferred not with flesh and blood; (17.) Nei- 

* 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33. f Ch. IV. §. J , page 1 15. 

§. 4. OecMton of this VisU^ as per Acts. 135 

** ther wenr'l up to Jerusalem, to them which were 
" Apostles before me ; but I went into Arabia, and 
** returned again unto Damascus. 1 8. Then qfierlhxw 
" years, I went up to Jerusalem, to see Peter.** &c. 

" After three years ?** — three years, reckoning from 
what time? Here we see the ambiguity, and along 
with it the difficulty. If reckoning from his conver- 
sion, — then we have the three years, to be spent — partly 
in I)amascus, partly in Arabia : in Damascus, in ob- 
taining, perhaps,fromtheChristianized Jews — ^in return 
for the impunity given to them by the breach of the trust 
committed to him by the Jerusalem rulers- money, 
for defraying his expenses while in Arabia. If, rec- 
koning from his escape from Damascus in a basket, 
then we have three years, during which not so much 
as any the faintest trace of him is perceptible. All, 
therefore,, that is clear is — that according to his ac- 
count of the matter, there was an interval of at least 
three years between his conversion, and this first of 
his subsequent Jerusalem visits — this visit of his to 
Jerusalem, to see the Apostles. 

Between the two interpretations, — in respect of 
length of time, observe here the difference. According 
to one of them, between the conversion and the first 
Jerusalem visit, we have an interval of, three yearj*, 
and no more : and, in this interval, three lengths of 
time — one passed in Damascus, another in Arabia, a 
third, tenninated by the basket adventure, passed also 
in Damascus, ar«» all included: the entire interval deter- 
minate: butitsparts, all of them, indeterminate. Ac- 
cording to the other interpretation, we have also three 
lengtlis of time : the first, indeterminate, passed in 
Damascus ; the second, as indeterminate, passed in 
Arabia ; the third, passed in Damascus, and this a 
determinate one — namely, the three years. Thus, 
upon the first supposition, the interval consists of 
three'^ears, and no more : upon the second supposi- 
tion, it consists of three years, preceded by two lengths 

136 Ch. IV. 1. RecmcUiation Fisit, Barnabas Sfc. 

of time, which are both indeterminate, but one of 
which — ^that passed in Arabia— may liave been to any 
amount protracted. 

Upon either supposition, — ^itseemsnot unlikely, that 
it was immediately after his escape from Damascus, 
that this first visit of his to Jerusalem took place. 
And, the greater the preceding interval of time, whe- 
ther passed in Arabia or Damascus, the less unpro- 
mising his prospect, that the resentments, produced 
by the provocations given by him to the Christians, 
by his persecution of them,-— and to the Jewish rulers, 
by his treachery towards them, — should, both, have to 
such a degree subsided, as to render even so short a 
stay, as that of fifteen days which he mentions, con- 
sistent with personal safety. Yet, as we see in the 
Acts, are these two events spoken of as if they had 
been contiguous : at any rate, it is in contiguity that 
they are spoken of. 

Uncertainties crowd upon uncertainties. At the 
time of PauFs conversion, — had Damascus already this 
same king, named Aretas, with a governor under him ? 
If so, how happens it, that, of this state of the govern- 
ment, no intimation is perceptible, in the account g^ven 
of that conversion in the Acts ? Was it — that, at that 
time, there existed not any such monarchical person- 
age ? but that, before the adventure of the basket, 
some revolution had placed him there ? 

According to PauFs account, — the state of things, 
produced in Damascus by his exertions, was some- 
what curious. On the face of this account, in ordi- 
nary there was no garrison in Damascus : it was only 
by special order from the monarch, and for no other 
purpose than the bringing to justice— or what was 
called justice— the person of the self«constituted Apo« 
8tle,^-that a garrison was put into the town, with a 
governor for the command of it. 

Whatafoundation all this for credence ! and, withit, 
for a system of religious doctrine to build itself upon ! 

^. 5. Cause of Discrepancy in the Aceounis. 137 

— ^religious doctrine — ^with the difference between eter- 
nal happiness and eternal misery depending upon it ! 



Between these two accounts, such being the dis' 
cordance — where shall we find the cause of it ? An- 
swer : in the different views, in which, at the time of 
writing, the two accounts were penned : in the dif« 
ferent objects, to the accomplishment of which, at the 
time of penning their respective accounts, the endea- 
vours of the two writers were directed. 

The author of the Acts — ^what, then, was his object? 
To obtain for his patron — his chief heror— alive or 
dead — a recognition, as universal as possible, in bis as- 
sumed character of an Apostle. The more complete 
the recognition, bestowed upon him by those most 
competent of all judges, — the more extensive the re- 
cognition he might look for, at the hands of all other 
their fellow-believers. 

Sufficient was this — sufficient for the general pur- 
poses of the party — ^in the eyes of a person other than 
Paul, even though that other person was a proteg^, a 
retainer, a satellite. 

Sufficient this was not, however, to the arrogance of 
theheadof the party — Paul himself: at least, at the time 
of his writing this his letter to h^s Galatian converts. 

Think you, (says he,) that any relation, I have ever 
borne to any of those who were Apostles before me^ 
had, on my part, any thing in it of dependence? 
Think you, that I ever stood in need of any thing at 
their hands ? Think you, that I had ever any more 
need of them, than they of me ? Not I, indeed. The 
Gospel, which 1 have always preached — ^neither from 
them did I receive it, nor from them, in preaching it. 

138 Ch. IV. 1. RecancUiaiion f^ii, Barnabas Sfc. 

did I ever seek or receive any assistance. (Gal. i. 1 ), 
12.) Think you, that I stood in any need, or ever 
supposed myself to stand in any need, of any accept- 
ance or acknowledgment at their hands ? Not I, indeed. 
When my revelation had been received by me, did I 
present myself to them, for any such purpose as that 
of remuneration and acceptance ? Not I, indeed . I went 
not to them : I went not so much as to Jerusalem, 
where they then were : I conferred not with flesh and 
blood :— off I went to Arabia ; and when my business 
in Arabia was at an end, even then, did I repair to 
Jerusalem ? Not I, indeed. I returned again to Da- 
mascus. True it is, to Jerusalem I did go at last. — 
But when ? — Not till three years afterwards. WeH — 
and, when I was at Jerusalem, how many, and which 
of them, think you that I saw ? Think you, that I put 
myself to any such trouble, as that of seeing them all 
together ? the whole herd of them ? No. Peter was 
naturally a chief among them : with him I had ac- 
cordingly some business to settle : — ^him, accordingly, 
I saw, as also James, whom (as being a brother, or 
other near kinsman, of Jesus) I had a curiosity to see. 

Paul himself wrote at one time ; this his disciple at 
another : each of them pursued the purpose of the 
time. Not on this occasion, at any rate, — perhaps not 
on any other, was there any thing, that either wrote, 
concerted between them*. Of this want of concert, 
what has just been seen is one of the consequences. 

Reserved as we have seen him, in regard to time and 
other circumstances, — one circumstance more there 
is, for which our curiosity is to no small amount, 

* In the current chronology, this Epistle to the Galattaps is 
placed in the year 58 -, on the part of the author of the Acts^ the 
first mention of his bein|; in the company of Paul is placed in the 
year next following, to wit 59. Note^ that at the end of the Epistle 
to the Galatians, it is stated to be written from Rome : yet, ac- 
cording to the current chronology, his arrival at Rome, in custody, 
from Jerusalem,— at which time unquestionably he had never as yet 
visited Rome,— did not take place till the year 62. 

§.5. Cause of Discrepancy m the Accaunis. 139 

debtor, to the author of the Acts. This is — infornia* 
tioD, of the means — of the channel, through which Paul 
obtiuned the introduction, which, without mention 
made of the object, we have seen him acknowledging 
that, so far as concerned Peter, he was desirous of: 
and that to such a degree, as to undertake a journey 
from Damascus to Jerusalem, some 120 or 130 miles, 
for the purpose. 

Repugnancy, so natural, and naturally so vehe- 
ment— -even at the end of the three years, or the still 
greater number of years — by what means could he re- 
move it, or so much as flatter himself with a prospect 
of being able to remove it ? To this question, it is to 
the author of the Acts that we are indebted for an an- 
swer : and that answer a satisfactory one : — ^it was by 
the assistance of Barnabas, that the object, so far as it 
was accomplished, was accomplished. 

To the religion of Jesus, after as well as before this, 
— ^to the Apostles in particular before this, — Barna- 
bas was a supporter of no small importance. 

At the time when the financial arrangements were 
for the second time settled *i — when, from the substance 
of the opulent among the faithful, enough was col- 
lected for the support of all the indi?^ent; — among 
those, by whom^ on this second occasion, lands and 
houses, were for this purpose sold, particular persons 
are, on this second occasion, for the first time men- 
tioned. The first place is occupied by this Barnabas : 
and not till after him come Ananias and Sapphira — 
the unfortunate pair, of whose fate mention will have 
to be made in another place. 

Joses was, it seems, the original name — the proper 
name of this beneficent protector : Barnabas (the Hon 
of consolation^) was no more than a title of honour, 
— a token.of gratitude. A title of honour.^ and by whom 
conferred ? Even by the Apostles. By Barnabas, there- 

* First time. Acts ii. 45. Second time. Acts iv. 34. f Acts iv. 36. 

140 Ch.IV. l.jReeanciiiaiion yisii, Barnabas 8fc. 

fore, whatsoever thereafter comes to be reported as 
done, — it is by the Son of consolation that we are to 
understand it to have been, and to be, done. 

As to the arguments, by which this son of conso- 
lation succeeded, — in prevailing, upon two, and, if we 
are to believe Paul, no more than two, of these so lately 
persecuted or threatened servants of Jesus, — to be, for 
a few days, upon speaking terms, with him, who so 
lately had been their deadly, as well as open enemy, — 
— it is from imagination, with judgment for her guide, 
they they must, if at all, be deduced from the sur- 
rounding circumstances of the case. 

As to these arguments, however, — ^whatever were 
the rest of them, of two of them a hint is given by the 
author of the Acts : these are,— the story of the con- 
version, — and the boldness of the preaching, which at 
Damascus was among the first-fruits of it. Those 
which, under the guidance of judgement, imagination 
would not find much difficulty in adding, are, — the 
evil — that might result from his enmity, in case the ad- 
vances then made by him were rejected, — and the use- 
ful service, which, by the blessing of God, might be 
hoped for at his hands, if admitted in the character 
of an ally and co-operator : at any rate, so long as the 
whole field of his exertions, and in particular the geo- 
graphical part of it, continued different from theirs. 

With Peter, on whatever account, it was P^uPs own 
desire to hold a conference : — so we have seen him de- 
claring to the Galatians. To this Peter, whom be 
was desirous of seeing, and whom at length he suc- 
ceeded in seeing, — to this Peter did he then himself tell 
the story of his vision, of his conversion, and the mode of 
it ? If at any time he did^ — at any rate, if the author of 
the Acts is to be believed, — ^it was not till Barnabas, 
the son of consolation, had told it for him. Had it 
been by himself that his story had been to be told in 
the first instance,— he would thereby have stood ex- 
posed to cross-examination : and, among those things, 

^. 5. Cause of IHscrepancy in the Accounts. 141 

which Barnabas might in his situation say for him, — 
were many things, which, if at all, he could not, with 
any thing like an equal prospect of good effect, have 
said for himself. To any asseveration of his own, — ifi 
any promises of future amity, it was not in the nature 
of the case, that from his own mouth they should 
give credence. But, when by Barnabas, of whose zeal 
in their cause they had received such substantial 
proofs — when from this son of consolation they re- 
ceived assurance, that Paul had actually engaged him- 
self in that line of service, which be professed himself 
desirous to embrace ; — that he had engaged so far, that 
no prospect of safe retreat could reasonably be in his 
view ; — then it was, that, without imprudence, they 
might venture to hold at least a conference with him, 
and hear and see what he bad to say for himself. 

As to the account, given on this occasion by Barna- 
bas, of the famous vision, — had it been but preserved^ 
it would probably have been no less curious than those 
which we have been already seeing. Though we can- 
not be precisely assured in what way, — we may be 
pretty well assured, that, in some way or other, addi- 
tions would have been to be seen made in it^ to the list 
of variations. 

But, the great advantage, — ^producible, and probably 
produced, by the opening of the matter, as performed 
by Barnabas, — was this: in company with those ar- 
guments, by which the sincerity of P^ul was to be de- 
monstrated, — ^would naturally come those, by which in- 
timation would be given, of the advantage there might 
be, in forbearing to apply too strict a scrutiny, to this 
important statement. The interests, which, in the 
character of motives, pleaded for the acceptance, of the 
advance made towards reconciliation and mutually ad- 
vantaeeous co-operation, — ^would, in this manner, pre- 
pare me way, for receivitag, without any troublesome 
counter-interrogation, the important narrative: or, 
perhaps^ for considering the matter, as already sufii- 

142 Cb. IV. 1. Reconci/iaiiofi Visits Barnabas 8fc. 

ciently explained, by the son of consolation, — ^in such 
sort that, to the new Apostle, the trouble of repeating 
a narrative^ which he must already have so frequently 
found himself under the necessity of repeating, might 
be spared. 

The greater was the importance, of the service thus 
rendered to Paul by the son of consolation, — ^the more 
studiously, in giving the account, as above, of the in- 
tercourse with the Apostles at Jerusalem, — the more 
studiously, would he avoid all mention of it*. 



Fifteen days, if Paul is to be believed — ^fifteen days, 
and nomore^ — was the length of time, during which bis 
intercourse with Peter continued: Gahi. 18. that same 
length of time, and no greater, it may without much 
rashness be inferred, was his stay at Jerusalem. 

Thesefifteendays,— or whatever, if any thing longer, 
was the duration of his stay in that seat of their com- 
mon religion, — in what occdpations were they employ- 
ed ? It is in the Acts, if any where, that this question 
will receive its answer. It was in ^' disputing against 
the Grecians-f-." 

That such should have been his occupation, is in 
his situation altogether natural. 

Of a sort olpartUion treaty ^ as having, at one time, 
been entered into between himself and Peter, — Paul, in 
his so-oiten mentioned letters to theGalatians, informs 

♦ " I conferred not with flesh and blood." (Gal. ii. 16.) "Of those 
*' who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh 
'' no matter to me." Not till '' after three years *' did 1 go '' up to 
" Jerusalem to see Peter." With language in this strain^ it would 
have harmonized but indifferently, to have added, ''nor should 
" I have seen him then, had it not been for Barnabas." 

t Acts ix. 29. 

^. 6. i^wiV, tV^ Lengih'^Patd's Emplaymeni. 143 

us in express terms. As to the time, which, on that 
occasion, he has in view, — ^it was, according to appear- 
ance, not the time of thisYm first visit, but of the thirds 
At that third visit, the treaty was, at any rate, either 
entered into for the first time, or confirmed : receiv-- 
ing, at the same time, what was on both sides agreed 
upon, as an amendment requisite to add to it, in re- 
spect of clearness, correctness, or completeness. 

But, at this visit, it seems altogether natural, that, 
with more or less of these same qualities, a treaty of 
this sort took place. By the sort of relation, produced 
between them^ by the state of interests, — ^the existence 
of an agreement of this sort seems sufficiently proba- 
bilized : and, firom the few words, in which, by the au- 
thor of the Acts, mention is made of the Grecians, and 
of Paul's disputes with them, — the inference receives 
the confirmation afforded by direct evidence. 

With the Grecians then it was, that these disputa- 
tions of Paul were held. Why with the Grecians, and 
no other ? The reason is no mystery. Greek was the 
language of Paul : Greek, for any thing that appears, 
was not the language of Peter, or of any other of the 
Apostles. Applying himself to the Grecians, and 
to them alone, — Paul might, to any amount, have 
given additional extent to his own dominion, without 
subtracting any thing from theirs. 

Not productive, it should seem, of much fruit, — 
was this portion, of the new Apostle's labours. No 
sooner are we informed, of the boon thus offered to 
these Grecian Gentiles, than comes, moreover, the 
further information, that some there were, that ** went 
^' about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, 
•* they brought him" (it is added) " to Caesarea, and 
" sent him forth to Tarsus*/' 

Meantime, those men, who went about to slay him, 
— who were they ? Possibly they were Grecians, if by the 

♦ Acta ix, 29: 

144 Cb. IV. I. ReamcUiatiofi Fisii, Barnabas 8fc. 

disputation in question, the annoyance produced was so 
intolerable to them, as to bie productive of a wish and 
enterprise thus flagitious : and, if the evidence afibrd- 
ed by the rules of grammar be in this case regarded as 
conclusive,— the pronoun they having for its last pos- 
sible antecedent the substantive Grecians — ^these, and 
no other, roust have been the intended murderers. On 
the other hand, among the heathen— the philosophical 
disputants of this nation, — disputations, having any 
such abstractions for their subject, were not wont to be 
productive, of any such practical and flagitious conse* 
quences. Among the heathens, moreover, it appears 
not, that, antecedently to his conversion; the zeal of 
Paul had led him to put any to death : on the other hand 
among the Christianized Jews, his fellow-religionists, 
the number of persons, of whom he had put to death 
some, and in other ways plagued others, was unhap- 
pily but too great. By the religion into which they 
had been converted,— revenge, it is true, was not (as in 
that which they were converted yrom) magnified, but 
prohibited : but, the influence of it has never been 
equally efficient upon all minds. 

Be this as it may, — ^upon his leaving Jerusalem, it 
was to the region of Syria and Cilicia, that, at this 
time, he betook himself. So, in his letter to his Ga- 
latians, he himself says* ; and, by what is said in the 
Acts, he is not contradicted, but confirmed. By him- 
self what is mentioned is — the region, viz. Syria and 
Cilicia : by the Acts what is mentioned is — the cities, 
viz. Cassarea and Tarsus. Caesarea, — whether at that 
time it was in Syria or not, — ^was, at any rate, little, if 
any thing, out of the way, from Jerusalem to Tarans. 
Caesarea was a town upon the coast:— one among 
those maritime towns, which^ whether parts or not of 
Syria, are in the way between the inland city, of Je- 
rusalem, and the coast of Cilicia i with which coast, 

* Gal. i. 21. 

^. 6. f^isii, iis Lengthr^Pauts Employment. 145 

by a river, — Tarsus, marked in the map with the mark 
of a capital town, appears to communicate. 

In speaking of this change of place, the terms emr- 
plojed by Paul, are general terms, — " / came^ By 
what means he came, he does not mention : nor does 
there appear any particular reason why he should have 
mentioned them. 

In the Acts, the account is more particular : — ^he 
was, in a manner, forced from the one place to the 
other : — he was, at any rate, escorted: it was by " the 
" brethren^ he was so dealt with.. " Which when the 
'^ brethren knew, they brought him down to Cacsarea, 
** and sent him forth to Tarsus.'* Acts ix. 30. 

By the brethren .^— Yes. — But by what brethren ? 
By the general body of the Christians, or any that be- 
longed to it.^ No: — for, it was from their wrath, that 
he was making his escape. No : — not by the justly ex- 
asperated many ; but by such few adherents as, under 
such prodigious disadvantage, his indefatigable artifice 
and energy had found means to conciliate. 



In relation to this subject, we have two, and no more 
than two, accounts, — both from the same pen,— that 
of the historiographer in the Acts ; and these two ac- 
counts, as usual, contradictory of each other. The 
first, in the order of the history, is that given by him 
in his own person : Acts ix. 27, 28, 29. The other, 
is that given by him in the person of Paul : namely, 
in the course of his supposed first-made and unpre- 
meditated speech, — ^when, on the occasion of his last 
visit to Jerusalem — his Invasion Visit— he was plead- 
ing for his life before the angry multitude. Acts xxii. 
17, 18, 19, 20, 21. 

146 Cli. IV. \. Reconciliation Visit. Barnabas 8fc. 

Now then, let us compare the two accounts. 

Speaking in his own person, — ^it b to the fear of cer- 
tain Grecians, that the historiographer ascribes Paul's 
departure for Jerusalem. In disputing with them, he 
had been speaking *^ boldly in the name of the Lord 
*' Jesus:*' and thereupon^ — ^and as we are desired to be- 
lieve, therefore^^-csLine certain designs and endeavours 
to slay him. Designs ? on the part of whom ? An- 
swer :— on the part of those same Grecians: cause of 
these designs and endeavours, irritation, (so it is in- 
tended we should suppose) — irritation, produced in the 
breasts of those same Grecians ; — ^and produced by the 

Now, as to the words of the historiographer, speak- 
ing in his own person. It is immediately after the 
mention of Paul's transactions with the Apostles and 
the other disciples, that after saying, (Acts ix. 28.) 
that *\ . . he was with them coming in and going out 
"of Jerusalem," the narrative continues thus: ver.29; 
" And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
" and disputed against the Grecians ; but ihey went 
" about to slay him : ver. 30 ; Which when the 
" brethren knew, they brought him down to Csesarea, 
" and sent him forth to Tarsus.** 

Such is the account given, of the departure of Paul 
from Jerusalem, on the occasion in question — given 
by the historiographer, speaking in his own person, of 
the manner of the departure, and at the same time of 
the cause of it. Behold now how different is the ac- 
count given, of the same matter, by the same historio- 
grapher, in the same work, when speaking in the per- 
son of his hero. Nothing now as to any disputes 
with Grecians : nothing now of these, or any other 
human beings, in the character ef beu^ who wece 
angry with him, and that to such a degree, that, to save 
hb life, it was deenaed necessary by bis adherents^ — 
styled on this occasion <* /A^ brethren,** to takediaige 

^.7. f^isii — its Termination — Mode and Cause. 147 

of him, as we have seen, and convey him from Jeru- 
aalem to Csesarea and elsewhere^ 

The case seems to be — ^that, between the time of 
writing the account which has just been seen, and 
the time for giving an account of the same transac- 
tion in tile person of the hero, as above,-— a certain 
difficulty presented itself to the mind of the historio- 
grapher : and, that it is for the solution of this diffi^ 
culty, that he has recourse, to one of his sovereign sol- 
vents — a trance. The difficulty seems to have been 
this : The class of persons, whom, on tliat first visit 
of his he had exasperated, were— not " Greciafisr or 
any other Gentiles, but Christians : Christians, the 
whole body of them — Apostles and Disciples together: 
the same class of persons, to which belonged those 
who, on the occasion of this his last visit — the Inva- 
sion Visit — were to such a degree exasperated, by this 
fourth intrusion of his, as to be attempting his life. 
How hopeless any attempt would have been, to make 
them believe, that it was not by themselves, but by a 
set of Heathens, that his life was threatened on that 
former occasion, is sufficiently manifest. Heie then 
comes a demand, for a substitute, to that cause, which, 
distant as the time was, could not, however, be altoge- 
ther absent from their memory ; and which, so far as 
it was present, could not but heighten their exaspera- 
tion : — this substitute was the trance. 

The cause of the departure is now — not the fear of . 
any human being, but the express command of ** the 
^*£jord:^' — ^a command delivered in the course, and by 
means, of this same trance. Moreover, as if, from such 
a quarter, commands were not sufficient of themselves; 
on the present occasion (it will be seen) they came 
backed by reasons. Was it that, as the historiographer 
has been telling us in his own person, certain Grecians 
were exasperated.'' No: but that the persons, to whom, 
with Barnabas for his supportingwitness (Acts ix. 270> 


148 Ch.IV. \.R€co7icilialton f^isii. — Bamahas 8fc. 

he had been telling his story, gave no credit to it : so 
that, by a man with his reputation in this state, no- 
thing in the way of his business was to be done. 

But now let us see the text. It comes imme- 
diately after ihnt passage, in which Paul is made to 
speak of Ananias, as giving orders to him, in the 
name of the Lord : orders, concluding in these words: 
(Acts xxii. 16.) ,...'* arise, and be baptized, and 
** wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the " 
" Lord." This said, — his story, as told to the multi- 
tude, continues thus: ver. 17- "And it came to 
*' pass that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even 
" while I prayed in the temple, 1 was in a iranre: 
" 18. And saw him saying unto me. Make hasle^ 
** and get thee qvicklt/ out of Jerusalem : for they will 
** not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19. And 
" I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat 
•* in every synagogue those that believed on thee: 
" 20. And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen 
" was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting 
** to his death, and kept the raiment of them that 
<< slew him. 21. And he said unto me. Depart : for 
" I will s'^nd thee far hence unto the Gentiles. 22. 
" And they gave him audience unto this wcrd, and 
" then lifted up their voices and said. Away with such 
^* a fellow from the earth ; for it is not fit that he 
" should live.'* 

It may now be seen, how useful and convenient an 
iniplement this same trance was : how well adapted, 
to the occasion on which it was employed. Taken 
by itself, this slory about the enraged Grecians might 
serve to impose upon readers in general : but, to the 
knowledge of the really enraged Christians, whose 
wrath he was endeavouring to assuage,—- it was not 
only too palpably false to be related to them, but too 
much so, to be even for ^ moment supposed to be re- 
lated to them : hence came the demand for the super- 

^•7. f^isii — Us Terymnation — Mode and Cause. 149 

natural cause. rNothing» it is evident, could be better 
suited to the purpose. 'Die assertion was of the sort of 
those, whichj bow palpably soever untrue, are not ex- 
posed to contradictioM)y direct evidence: and which, 
supposing them believed, ensure universal respect, and 
put aU gainsayers to silence. 
. An incident not unworthy here of notice, is — ^the 
sort of acknowledgment contained in the words—- 
" for they will not receive thy testimony concerning 
** nae.'* In this mav be seen — a confirmation of the im- 
portant fact, so fully proved on the occasion of the 
first or Recoficiliatwn Vmt : and we see — ^with what 
consistency and propriety, the mention of it comes in, 
on the present occasion : namely, in a speech, made 
to a multitude, of which, many of those, — by whom 
he had been disbelieved and rejected on that fonner 
occasion, — must of course have formed a part. 

Such is the fact, which, after having communicated 
to us,, in his own person, (Acts ix. 26) (**they were all 
'* afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disci- 
** pie,**) the historiographer is frank enough to com- 
municate to us a second lime, through the mouths of 
Paul and " the Lord," the one within the other. True 
enough this information ; and, moreover, at Jerusa- 
lem, as well when the historiographer was writing, as 
when Paul was speaking, notoriovs enough : or we 
should hardly have had it here and now. But, what 
a truth to put into the mouth of Paul, whose title to 
credence for his claim, is so effectually destroyed by 

To return to what, on the occasion of the first visit, 
is said by the histori(»grapher, in his own person, about 
the Grecians. That it was false, as to the main point, 
— namely, that it was by the fear of those same Gentiles 
that he was driven out of Jerusalem, — is now (it is 
hoped) sufficiently evident. But, as to his having 
held disputation with them, — in this there seems nut 

150 Ch.jy.l.BecoficiHation f^isit-'^BamabasSfe. 

to be any thing inconsistent or improbable : and this 
part, supposing it true, might, in so far as known, help 
to gain credence for that which was false. 

A circumstance — not altogether clear, nor worfii 
taking much trouble in the endeavour to render it so, 
IS — on the.occasion of this dialogue, the change made, 
of thesupernatural vehicle, from ^visioniniou^Urance.^ 
Whatsoever, if any, is the difference, — they aeree in 
the one essential point : namely, that it is m the 
power, of any man, at any time, to have had as many 
of them as he pleases : hearing and seeing, moreover, 
in every one or them, whatsoever things it suits his 
convenieticfe to have heard or seen.—" I saw a vision:" 
or, " I was in a trance :** either postulate granted, 
every thing whatsoever follows. 

This trance (it may be observed) is of a much 
more substantial nature than any of the visions. By 
Paul in his road vision, — ^vision as it was, — neither 
person nor thingy with the exception of a quanti^ of 
light, was seen : only a voice, said to be the JLord's, 
heard. In this trance, the Lord is not only heard, but 
seen. In those visions, that which is said to have 
been heard, amounts to nothing : on the present oc- 
casion, what is said to have been heard, is material to 
the purpose, and perfectly intelligible. Not that there 
could be any use in Paul's actually hearing of it : for 
what it informed him of, was nothing more than that 
which, at the very time, he was in full experience of. 
But, in a situation such as his, it was really of use to 
him, to be thought to have heard it z and therefore it 
is, that, in the speech ascribed to him, he is repre- 
sented as saying that he heard it. 

( »5I ) 


Pfiul disbelieved continued. — Jerusalem Visit II. 
Afoney-bringing Visit. — Barnabas accampctny- 
ing htm from Aniiock. 



A.T his own house it was, that we last left our self- 
declared Apostle : at his own birth-place — Tarsus : 
what we have next to see is — what drew him from 

All this while there were other disciples that had 
not been idle. To the new religion, already was An- 
tiocli (Antioch in Syria) become a new Jerusalem. 

Upon the dispersion of the Jerusalem Christians, 
occasioned byt|ie judicial murder of the sainted trustee 
of the poor*s fund - Stephen, — ^some of theo^ among 
whom were some natives of Cyprus, — in which island 
was situated the property of the son of consolation, 
Barnabas,-7-had betaken themselves to thatsameisland^ 
others to that same city of Antioch in Syria. 

ACTS xi. 19—24. 
19« Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that aroie 
about Stephen, travelled as far as Phenicc and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching 
the word to none but unto the Jews only. ~^2a And some of them were men 
of Cyprus and Gyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto 
the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus <.-i_S2l. And the hand of the Lord 
was with them ; and a great number beliercd, and turned unto the Lord. — — 
522* Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was 
in Jerusalem : and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as iar as An* 

tioch. 23. Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad i 

and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart tliey would cleave unto the 

Lord. 84. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Gliost and of -fidth : 

and much people was added unto the Lord. 

Of these, some addressed themselves exclusively to 
the Jeivs : others ventured so far, as to make an ex- 

152 Ch. V. f^isil II. Money-brhtging wit/i, 8fc. 

perinient upon the Grecians. Unfortunately, these 
ternis are, neither of them, wholly free from ambi- 
guity. By the word Jews^ may have been meant ei- 
ther Jews by birth diud abodcy or Jews by religion: 
by the word Grecians, either Jews who, born or 
dwelling within the field of quondam Grecian domi- 
nion, used the Greek as their native language, — or 
Greeks, who were such, not only by language, but by 
religion. In this latter case, their lot was among the 
Gentiles, and much more extraordinary and conspi- 
cuous was the importance of the success. 

" They which preach the Gospel, should live of the 
Gospel.'* Such, in his own words (1 Cor. ix. 14), is 
the maxim laid down by Paul, for the edification of 
his Corinthian disciples. To save doubts and dispu* 
tation, he prefaces it with the assurance — " even so 
** hath the Lord ordained." No great need of support 
from revelation, seems to attach upon a maxim so na- 
tural, and so reasonable : from the time of the first 
planting of the Gospel, it appears to have been (as 
indeed it could not fail to be) universally acted upon; 
saving su^h few exceptions as a happy union of zeal, 
with sufficient pecuniary means, might render possible. 

How, under the Apostolical aristocracy, it had been 
acted upon in Jerusalem, has been seen already. The 
time was now come,-^for its being established^ and 
acted upon in Antioch. 

At Jerusalem, under the spiritual dominion of the 
Apostles, lived a man of the name of ylgahtis. Among 
the endowments, — of which, in the character of yi/«/i- 
ficaiionSy a demand was by some understood to be 
created, by the business of propagating the new reli- 
ligion, — (qualifications, alist of which, according to his 
conception of it, Paul (1 Cor. xii. 10) has given us) — 
was one, which, among these endowments, was called 
the ''gijtofpophecyi* — a gift, under which, as under 
that of speech in general, particularly when applied to 

^. I. Money from Antioch/ar reUeving Dearth. 153 

oecasions of importance, the hcxJiiyoi predictions^ 
forming correct judgements respecting future contin- 
geocies — would, if not necessarily, very frequently at 
least, come to be included. 

In the instance of the prophecy here in question, 
this same prospective faculty, it should seem, was ac- 
tually included. 

They«c/, for the purpose of predicting, or giving 
information of which, this useful emissary was, on the 
present x)Ccasion, sent from Jerusalem to An tioch, — 
was — that of signifying, that there should be a great 
dearth : an inference deduced from it, was — that, at 
this same Antioch, for the relief of the brethren at Je- 
r-usalem, contributions should be collected, and sent 
to Jerusalem. 

ACTS xu 17--3a 
27. And in these days camv prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 
88. And there Htood up one of them named Agabus, and signi6ed bv the 
spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world ; which 
came to pass in ttie days of Claudius Ciesar. — 29. llien the disciples, every 
man according to hia ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren 

which dwelt in Judea : Sa Which also they did, and sent it to tlie elders 

by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. 

In the calamity of dearth may be seen one of those 
events, of which — especially if the time of it be not 
predesignated with too rigid an exactness— a predic- 
tion may be hazarded, — and even by any man, — with- 
out much risk of falling under the disgrace attached 
to the appellation of a false prophet. Of this ob- 
servation, an exemplification seems to have been af- 
forded, in the present instance. With not unaccus- 
tomed prudence, — " the spirit," by which, on this oc- 
casion, the calamity was " signified,*' forbore (as we 
see) from the fixation of any particular year — either 
for the prophecy, or for the accomplishment of it. 
*' The days of Claudius Caesar" are mentioned as the 
time of the accomplishment. Hy agreement of all chro- 
nologibts, — the duration of his reign is stated as occu- 
pying not less than thirteen years. Whether this same 
reign had then already couimenced, — is not, on this 

154 Ch. V. f^isiilh Money-bringing wtih, Sfc. 

occasion, mentioned : from the ovanner in which it 
is mentioned^ the negative seems not improbable; if 
so, then to find the time which the prophecy had far 
finding its accomplishment to the definite term of 
thirteen years, we noust add another, and that an in* 
definite one. 

According to the situation, of the individuals by 
whom the word is employed, — worlds vary in their 
sizes. Of the dearth m question, the whole world, 
*' all the world,** is, by the author of the Acts, stated 
as having been the afflicted theatre : ** great dearth 
" throughout all the world.** Acts xi. 28. As to the 
rest of the world, we may leave it to itself. For the 
purpose then and now in question, it was and is su& 
ficient — that two cities, Jerusalem and Antioch, were 
included in it. The calamity being thus universal, — 
no reason of the ordinary kind is given, or seems dis- 
coverable — why, of any such contribution as should 
come to be raised, the course should be — from Anti- 
och to Jerusalem, rather than from Jerusalem to Anti- 
och. Inquired for, however, on religious ground,— a 
reason presents itself, without much difficulty. What 
Rome became afterwards, Jerusalem was then — ^the 
capital of ihat worlds which now, for the first time, re- 
ceived the name of Christian. According to one of the 
sayings of Jesus — if Paul, his self-appointed Apostle, 
is to be trusted to — of them it was pronounced 
*^ more blessed to give than to receive* :^ but in the 
eyes of the successors of St. Peter at all times, — and 

* Acts XX. 35. It is in the parting scene — when about to break 
from bis dissuading disciples^ and enter upon his invasion project 
— ^that Paul is represented as saying to them : " Remember die 
*' words of the Lord Jesus^ how he said. It is more Uessed to give 
'' than to receive.** Whence this self-:qppointed and posthumous 
Apostle of Jesus got these words of Jesus — if such they were — 
roust be left to conjecture. In the works of the four received bio- 
graphers of Jesus, with Cruden and his Concordance for guides, all 
search for them has been fruifless. 

^. 1 « Money jrom Amiochfor reiiemng Dearth. 155 

at this time, as it should seem, in his own — it was 
more Blessed to receive ikon give^ 



Or the amouni of the eleemosynary harvest, no in- 
timation is to be found. As to the consequence of 
it, Barnabas, we see, is the man stated as having, 
with obvious propriety, been chosen for the important 
trnst : Barnabas— of whose opulence, trustworthiness, 
steadiness, and zeal, such ample proofs (not to speak 
of those subsequent ones, which will be seen in their 
place,) had already manifested themselves. In con- 
sequence of the information, already received by the 
Mother Church in Jerusalem, of the prosperity of 
the Daughter Church (Acts xi. 20, 21)^ planted, as 
above, in the capital of Syria, — this most active of all 
Christian citizens had been sent to give increase to 
it. (Acts xi. 22.) 

But, of the talents and activity of Paul, his inde- 
fatigable supporter and powerful patron had had full 
occasion to be apprized. Accordingly, without the 
aid of this his not less indefatigable helper, still was the 
strength of the rising church, in the eyes of the pa- 
Iron, incomplete. "A prophet" (saysa not ill-grounded 
proverb) " has no honour in his own country.* In his 
native city, among the witnesses of his youth, Paul 
had indeed found safety: but (as the nature of the 
case manifests) in a circle, from which respect stood 
excluded by familiarity, safety had not been accom- 
panied with influence: and, in eyes suck as those of 
Raul, safety without influence was valueless. Under 
these circumstances, — ^the patron, going to Tarsus in 
person in quest of his proteg^, could not naturally 
find much difficulty in regaining possession of him. 

156 Ch. V. ^^isU II. Mmey-brifigiiig, Sfc. 

and bringing with him the so highly-valued prize, on 
his return to Antioch. " Then" (sAys the Acts, xi. 25, 
26,) " departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek 
'* Saul : 26. And when he had found him, he brought 
" him unto Antioch." 

At this place, with their united powi^rs, they had 
been carrying on their operations for the space of a 
twelvemonth, when the petition for pecuniary assist- 
ance was received there. 

As for Paul, — from the moment of his conversion, 
notwithstanding the ill success of his first attempt,— 
the prime object of his ambition — the situation of 
President of the Christian Commonwealth — had never 
quitted its hold on his concupiscence. Occasions, for 
renewing the enterprise, were still watched for with 
unabated anxiety : — a more favourable one than the 
one here in question, could not have presented itself 
to his fondest wishes. The entire produce, of the filial 
bounty of the Daughter Church, was now to be poured 
into the bosom of the necessitous Mother. For the 
self-destined head of that rising Church, two more ac- 
ceptable occupations, than those which one and the 
same occasion brought to him, could not have been 
found: — ^First^ the collection of the contributions; — 
and then the conveying of them, to the place of their 
destination. Of the labours of such agents, in such cir- 
cumstances, the success (we are told) they found, was 
a natural result. '* Then** (says the Acts xi. 29, 30.) 
** Then the disciples, every one according to his abi- 
'' lity, determined to send relief unto the brethren 
" which dwelt in Judea: — 30. Which also they did; 
" and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas 
^* and Saul/' Thus much as to the public purpose. 
Very different u^as the lot of Paul's personal project. 
What the elders could not have any objection to the 
receipt of, was — the money. But, what they had an in- 
superable objection to, was — the receipt' of the yoke of 

^. 2. Barnabas and Paul bring the Money. 157 

this their outwardly-converted, but once already reject- 
ed, persecutor. This second enterprise, — ^though still 
under the same powerful leader, and produced by such 
flattering prospects, —succeeded no better than the 
first. Rve-and-twenty verses after, we are told of the 
termination of this their second Jerusalem visit ; and 
this is all we hear of it : '* And Barnabas and Saul " 
(says the Acts xii. 25.) ^' returned from Jerusalem, 
*< when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with 
** them John, whose surname was Mark.** This same 
John Mark they got by their expedition : and this, for 
any thing that appears, was all they got by \t. 

Between the mention of their arrival at Jerusalem, 
and the mention of their departure from thence, — 
comes the episode about Peter: — his incarceration and 
liberation under Herod ; and the extraordinary death 
of the royal prosecutor,— of which, in its place. As to 
the interval, — ^what the length of it was, and in what 
manner, by Paul, under the wing of the Son of Con- 
solation, it was occupied,— ^u^e points, on which we 
are left altogether in the dark : as also, whether the 
time of these adventures of Peter, the mention of which 
stands inserted between the mention of the two occur- 
rences in the history of Paul, was comprised in that 
same interval. 



Paul disbelieved continued.--*i7f^ ihird JerusaUm 
f^isii. — Paul and Barnabas delegated by Aniioch 
SainiSy to confer on the Necessity of Jewish Rites 
to Heathefi Qmverts to the Religion of Jesus. 



We come now to the transaction, on the occasion 
of which, the grand object of Paul's ambition received, 
in part, its accomplishment: namely, that, by which, 
«-^though without any such popular election as, in the 
instance of Matthias, had been necessary to constitute 
a roan an associate to the Apostles, — he was, in some 
sort, taken by them into fellowship, . and admitted, 
with their consent, into a participation of their labours. 

This occasion was — the dispute, which, in the Sy- 
rian Antiocb, took place, according to the author of 
the Acts, on the question-— whether, under the reli- 
gion of Jesus, circumcision was necessary to salvation: 
a question, in which, — whether explicitly or no, — was 
implicitly (it should seem) and perhaps inextricably, 
understood to be involved, the so much wider question 
— whether, under that same new religion, the old ce- 
remonial law should, in any part of it, be regarded 
as necessary. 

On this same occasion, two important subjects pre- 
sent themselves to view at the same time : the one, a 
question of doctrine relative to circumcision, as above; 
the other, a question nboui Jurisdiction, as between 
P^ul on the one part, and Peter, with or without the 
rest of the Apostles. 

§• I. Occasion of this Visit. 159 

As to what concerns the debate about circunddsion^ 
we have no other evidence than the statement of the 
author of the Acts. 

As to what concerns the jurisdiction question, we 
have the evidence of Paul himself, as contained in his 
letter (Gal. ii.) to the GalaUan converts: and an ori- 
ginal letter, howsoever dubious the correctness of the 
author in respect of matters of fact, is more trust- 
worthy than a multitude of anonymous narratives*. 

In respect of the progress made by the religion of 
Jesus, — Antioch, it has already been observed — the 
Syrian Antioch — had become a second Jerusalem ; 
and, so far as concerned the Gentiles at large, its mari- 
time situation gave to it a convenience, that was not 
shared with it by that inland city. 

At the time here in question, — the Gentiles had re- 
ceived more or less of instruction, from tliree different 
sets of teachers : — I . from the disciples who had been 
driven from Jerusalem by the tragical death of Saint 
Stephen ; 2. from Saint Peter, principally on the occa- 
sion of the excursion made by him to Lydda, Saron, 
Joppa, and Cassarea; and 3. from Paul and Barnabas, 
on the occasion, and by the means, of the long tour, 
made by them for that special purpose, as above. 

At this maritime metropolis of the faith, the new 
religion was spreading itself, — and, as far at least as 

♦ Acts XV. 1 to 4 : — '* 1. And certain men which came down 
** from Judea^ taught the brethren, and said. Except ye be circura* 

'* ci«ed after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be sared. 

" 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension 
" and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Bar- 
** nabas, and certcun other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto 

" the Apostles and Elders about Uiis question. 3. And being 

" brought on their way by the Church, they passed through Phc- 
'' nice and Samaria, dedaring the conversbn of the Gentites: and 
*' they caused great joy unto all the brethren.— 4. And when 
" thev were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the Church, 
" and of the Apostles and Elders -, and they declared all things tiiat 
'< God had done with them." 

16D Ch. VL Visiillh Deputalionwith Barnabas. 

depended on exemption from all disturbance from 
without, in a state of peace and tranquillity ; — ^when, 
by a set oi nameless men from Judea, — if to the author 
of the Acts credit is to be given on this point, (for by 
him no mention is made of any one of their names,) 
— ^the harmony of the Church was disturbed. 

Converts as they were to the religion of Je&us, yet, 
— ^in their view of the matter (if the author of the Acts 
is to be believed) without circumcision, no salvation 
was to he had. 

By Raul it is said, " they came from James ♦,** 
which is as much as to say that they were sent by 
James: and accordingly, when James's speech is seen, 
by him will these scruples of theirs be seen advocated. 

If the Gospel history, as delivered by the Evange- 
lists, is to be believed, — nothing could be more incon- 
sistent, on many occasions with the practice, and at 
length with the direct precepts, of Jesus, than this de- 
ference to the Mosaic law : if human prudence is to 
be regarded, — nothing could be more impolitic — ^no- 
thing more likely to narrow, instead of extending, the 
dominion of the Church. On this principle, no mftn 
who was not born a Jew, could be a Christian without 
first becoming a Jew, without embracing the Mosaic 
law ; and thus loading himself with two different, and 
mutually inconsistent, sets of obligations. 

From Paul, this conceit, — as was natural, — experi 
enced a strenuous resistance. No recognition as yet 
had Paul received, from the body of the Apostles. In 
Jerusalem, for any thing that appears,— though this 
was at least seven teen years after the death of Jesus-f-, 
— they remained alive — all of them :— at any rate the 
two chiefs of them, if Paul is to be believed, who 
(Gal. i, 19) says he saw them, namely. Saint Peter 
*• and James, the Lord's brother r" which two, he says, 

• Gal. ii. 12. t Gal.ii. 

^.1. Occasion of i /lis Visii. IGI 

be saw, out of a number, the rest of whom, he stu- 
diously assures his Galatians that he did not see: 
though by his historiographer. Acts xv. 4, by his all- 
comprehensive expression, " the Apostles^ we are de- 
sired to believe, that he saw all of them *• Whichever 
be the truth, — at Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judaism, 
no employment could, under these circumstances, be 
reasonably expected for Paul : whereas, out of Judea, 
— ^wherever the language of Greece was the mother 
tongue, or familiarly spoken, — the advantage, which, 
in every address to the Gentiles, he would have over 
those unlearned Jews, was universally manifest. 

Such, however, were the impressions, made by these 
unnamed manufacturers and disseminators of scruples, 

* Gal. i. 18, 19. "Then after three years 1 went up to Jeru- 

"salem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 9. But 

"other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's 
" brother." 

Acts XV. 4. " And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were 
" received of the Church, and of the Apostles and Elders ) and 
"they declared all things that God had done with them." 

The cause of this contrariety lies not far beneath the surface. 
Paul had one object in view \ his historiographer another. In the 
two passages, they wrote at distant times, and with different pur- 
poses. In his address to his Galatian disciples, Paul's object was 
to magnify his own importance at the expense of that of the Apo- 
stles : to establish the persuasion, not only of his independence 
of them, but oi his superiority over them. The generality of them 
were not worth his notice 3 but having some business to settle 
with them, Peter, the chief of them, he *' went" to see, and James, 
as being " the Lord's brother," he vouchsafed to see. On that 
particular occasion, such was the conception which Paul was la- 
bouring to produce: and such, accordingly, was his discourse. 
As for the historiographer, his object was, of course, throughout, 
to place the importance of his hero on as high a ground as pos- 
sible. But, in this view, when once Paul had come to a settlement 
with the Apostles, the more universal the acceptance understood 
to have been received by him — received from the whole body of 
Christians, and irom those their illustrious leaders in particular, — 
the better adapted to this his historiographer's general purposes 
would be the conception thus conveyed : accordingly they were 
received, he says, " of the Church, and the Apostles, and Elders." 


162 Ch. VI. risii IIL Deputation with JBamabas. 

who, if Paul 18 to be believed, came from James the 
brother of our Lord — ^that, by the whole Church, as 
it is called, of Antioch, a determination was taken--* 
to send to Jerusalem, to the Apostles and the Elders 
that were associated with them, a numerous mission, 
headed by Paul and Barnabas, who are the only two 
persons named. Accordingly, out they set, *' after 
having been brought on their way (says the author of 
the Acts, XV. 3.) by the Churchy^ which is as much 
as to say, by the whole fraternity of Christians there 




Against the pretensions of a man thus supported, 
vain, on the part of the original and real Apostles, 
would have been any attempt, to resist the pretensions 
of this their self-constituted rival: they (Barnabas and 
Paul) Were received (says the author of the Acts) of 
the Cnurch and of the Apostles and Elders*. 

Arrived at Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas told their 
own story — related their adventures and experiences 
—declared (to use the language of the Acts) all things 
that God had done unto them-f*. 

Notwithstanding the utmost exertion of Paul's ever- 
ready eloquence, — ^some (it is stated) there were, who, 
believers as, in a certain sort, they were in the religion 
of Jesus,— were not to be persuaded, to giveupso much 
as a single tittle of the Mosaic law : these were, as it 
was natural they should be, of the sect of Pharisees. 
" There rose up (says the Acts) certain of the sect 

♦ Acts XV. 4. *' And when they were come to Jerusalem, they 
** were received of the Church and of the Apostles and Elders, and 
" they declared all things that God had done unto them.*' 

t XV. 4. 


§. 2. The Delegates how received^ 8fc. 163 

'* of the Pharisees which believed, saying that it was 
** needful to circumcise them (the Gentiles), and to 
** command them to keep the law of Moses ^•'^ 

Of these private discussions, the result was — ^the 
convocation of an assembly of the managing body, 
in which, asiiociated with the Apostles, we find others 
— under the name of Elders. 

How, on an occasion, on which the proposed subject 
of determination was a ouestion of such cardinal im* 
portance to the religion of Jesus ; — ^how it should have 
come to pass, that the Apostles, to whom alone, and 
by whom alone^ the whole tenor of the acts and sayings 
of Jesus had been made known — made known by an 
uninterrupted habit of exclusive intimacy, and espe« 
cially during the short but momentous interval be- 
tween his resurrection and ascension ; — how it should 
have happened, that, to the Apostles, any other persons 
not possessed of these first of all titles to credence and 
influence, should have come to be associated, — ^is not 
mentioned. Upon no other authority than that of 
this author, are we to believe it to be true ? On the 
supposition of its being true, — there seems to be, hu- 
manly speaking, but one way to account for it. That 
which the Apostles, and they alone, could contribute 
to the cause, was — the authority and the evidence re- 
sulting from that peculiar intimacy : what they could 
not contribute was — money and influence derived from 
ordinary and external sources : to the exclusive pos- 
session of these latter titles to regard, will therefore, 
it should seem, be to be ascribed, supposing it credited, 
the circumstance of an incorporation otherwise so in- 

^* Received" (say the Acts xv. 4.) they were. — ^But 
by whom received .^~By the Church, by the Apostles; 
by the Elders, says that same history in that same 
place. By the Apostles : to wit — so as any one would 

* XV. ii. 
M 2 

164 Cb. VI. Visit III. Deputation with Barnabas. 

conclude — by all tbe Apostles— by the whole fellow- 
ship of the Apostles. 

Whether in any, and, if so, in what degree that con- 
clusion is correct, we have no determinate means of 

If, however, it was so to the utmost,-^nothing ap- 
pears in favour of the notion, that between Paul on the 
one part, and the Apostles and their disciples on tbe 
other, there existed at this time any real harmony. 
For, in what character was it that he made his appear- 
ance? In that of a commissioned envoy, from the 
whole body of the Church, established in that station, 
which was next in importance to Jerusalem, to which 
he was sent. And who was it that, at that time, as 
on both the former times, he, Paul, had in his com- 
pany ? Still his constant patron and associate Barna- 
bas — the munificent friend and patron of that church 
which he was visiting — the indefatigable Barnabas. 

By Paul himself, in his Epistle to the Galatians (ii. 
9, 10, 1.1.) the idea of any such extensive cordiality, — 
say rather of cordiality to any the smallest extent, — 
is pretty plainly negatived^. On that occasion (it was 
that of the Partition Treaty) what his interest re- 
quired was — that, on the part of the Apostles and 
their disciples, the concurrence given to it, should 
appear as extensive as possible. If then they had, 
all of them, really and personally concurred in it, — 
or even if the contrary had not been notorious, this 

»■'■ '■ ■ '■ "" '■'■ " M ■ <■ ■ II ■■ I. .1111 I I 

* Gal. ii. 6. '' But of those who seemed to be somewhat, wfaat- 
** soever they were, it maketh no matter to me : God accepteth 
" no man's person : for they who seemed to be somewhat in con- 

" ference added nothing to me. 9. And when James, Cephas, 

" and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that 
^ was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right 
" hands of fellowship ; that we should go unto the heathen, and 

"they unto the circumcision. 10. Only they would that we 

'' should remember the poor ; the same which 1 also was forward 

" to do. 11. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I with- 

'' stood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.'* 


§. 2. The Delegates how received^ 8fc. 165 

is the conception which he would have been forward 
to convey and inculcate. No such notion, however, 
does he venture to convey. When speaking of thein 
ia genersd terms — of no affection on either side, more 
kindly than that of ill humour, does he give any inti- 
mation. Gal. ii. 6. ^' Of those who seemed to be 

somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh no 

matter to me : God accepteth no man's person : for 
" they who seemed [to be somewhat *] in conference 
" added nothing to me." 

When, again, he comes to speak of the sort of in- 
tercourse, such as it was, which he had with the Apo- 
stles, — who are the persons that he speaks of ? All the 
Apostles ? the body of the Apostles in general ? — No : 
James, Cephas (the Hebrew name of which Peter is 
a translation 'f') and John : these three, and no more. 
These are the men, whom, to him Paul and his pro- 
tector Barnabas in conjunction, he on that same oc- 
casion speaks of, as '* giving the right hand of fellow- 
" ship:*' to wit, for the purpose of the Partition Treaty, 
the terms of which immediately follow. 

And, even of these men, in what way does he 
speak ? As of men " who seemed to be pillars i'" so 
that, as to what concerned the rest of the Apostles^ he 
found himself reduced to speak no otherwise than by 
conjecture. And this same ''right hand of fellowship" 
— what was their inducement for giving it ? — It was, 
says he, that '' they perceived the grace that was given 
'' unto me:" t. e. in plain language, and ungrounded 
pretension apart, — the power, which they saw he had, 
of doing mischief: — of passing, from the character 
of a jealous and restless rival, into that of a declared 
enemy: into that character, in which he had ori- 
ginally appeared, and with such disastrous effect. 

Immediately after this comes the mention of the 

* Added in the English translation. f In Englbh^ Rock, 

166 Ch. VI. risiilll. Depuiatwn with Batnabas. 

visit, made by Peter to Antioch : and therefore it is, 
that, no sooner is Peter — ^that chief of the Apostles of 
Jesus — mentioned, — than he is mentioned, as a man 
whom this Paul *^ withstood to his face, because be 
^* was to be blamed.** Gal. ii. 11. 

Peter was to be blamed : those other Jews that were 
come to Antioch from James — they were to be blamed. 
Barnabas, under whose powerful protection,— by the 
Church at Jerusalem, her justly odious persecutor 
had, at three different times, been endured, — ^he too 
was to be blamed. He too was, at that time, to be 
blamed ; and, as will be seen presently after, openly 
quarrelled with ; and (if on this point the Acts are to 
be believed) parted with. Acts xv. 39. " And the 
" contention was so sharp between them, that they 
" departed asunder one from the other: and so Bar- 
** nabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus.** 



Of what passed at this assembly, the only account we 
have — the account given to us by the author of the 
Acts — ^is curious :— curious at any rate ; and, whether 
it be in every particular circumstance true or not, — 
in so far as it can be depended upon, instructive *. 
We have the persons mentioned as having spoken : 

* Acts XV, 5 — 21 . 5. " But there rose up certain of the sect of 
" the Pharisees which believed, saying. That it was needful to dr- 
" cumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 

" 6. Arid the Apostles and Elders came together for to con- 

" sider of this matter. 7. And when there hM been much dis- 

" puting, Peter rose up, and said unto them. Men and brethren, 
** ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among 
" us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the 

^.3. Debates — Course carriedhyJanies^ 8fe. 167 

they are, in the order in which they are liere enume- 
rated, these four:-^to wit, Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and 
James. Of the speech of Peter, the particulars are 
given : so likewise of that of James : of Barnabas and 
Pbul, nothing more than the topic. 

Against the Mosaic law in toto^ we find Peter ; and 
such contribution as he is represented as furnishing 
to this side of the cause in the shape of argument. 
On the same side, were Barnabas and Paul : what 
they furnished was matter of fact : — namely, in the 
language of the Acts, '* what miracles and wonders 
•• God had wrought among the Gentiles by them ;** 
— ^iu plain language, the success they had met with 
among the Gentiles. 

, ** Gospel and believe. 8. And God, which knoweth the hearts, 

" bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did 

** unto US; 9. And put no difference between us and them, 

*' purifying their hearts by faith. 10. Now therefore why tempt 

'* ye God, to put a yoke upon the ne^k of the disciples, which 

*' neither our fathers nor we were able to bear ? 11. But we 

" believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall 

*• be saved, even as they. 12. Then all the multitude kept si- 

*^ lence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what 
'* miracles and wonders God liad wrought among the Gentiles by 

*' them. 13. And after they had held their peace, James ao- 

*' swered, sa3dng. Men and brethren, hearken unto me : 14. 

** Simon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, 

" to take out of them a people for his name. 15. And to this 

" agree the words of the prophets j as it is written, 16. After 

" this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, 
" which is fallen down j and I will build afl;ain the ruins thereof, 

" and I will set it up : 17. That the residue of men might seek 

*' after the Lord, and all the Gentilets upon whom my name is 
•* called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.-*— 18. Known 
" unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.—— 
'* 19. Wherefore my sentence is, — that we trouble not them, which 

" from among the Gentiles are turned to God : 80 But that 

** we write onto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, 
*' and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from bloods 
'' -^—21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that 
" preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.** 

^68 Ch.VI. Fiji/ III. Deputation with Barnabas, 

On this question, on the side of the chief of the 
Apostles, were — the manifest interest of the religion 
of Jesus as to extent of diffusion, — the authority de- 
rived from situation, — the express command of Jesus, 
as delivered in the Gospel history, — and Jesus^s own 
practice : not to speak of the inutility and unreason- 
ableness of the observances themselves. Yet, as far 
as appears from the author of the Acts, — of these ar- 
guments, conclusive as they would or at least should 
have been, — it appears not that any use was made : 
the success, he spoke of as having been experienced 
by himself among the Gentiles, — ^in this may be seen 
the sole argument employed in Peter's speech. Thus, 
— in so far as this report is to be believed, — thus, upon 
their own respective achievements, did, — not only Paul 
but Peter, — rest, each of them, the whole strength of 
the cause. 

Spite of reason, religion, and Jesus, the victory is, 
in this account, given to James — to Jesus's kinsman, 
James. The motion is carried : the course proposed, 
is a sort of middle course — a sort of compromise. At 
the hands of Gentile proselytes, in deference to the 
Mosaic law, abstinence from four things is required : 
namely, meats offered to idols, blood, things strangled: 
these, and the irregularities of the sexual appetite, — 
whatsoever they were, that were meant by the word, 
rendered into English by the vioxA fornication. 

If any such decision were really come to, — by no- 
thing but necessity — necessity produced by the circum- 
stances of place and time — will it be found excusable. 
Abstinence from food killed in the way of sacrifice to 
heathen gods, on the occasion of public sacrifices : 
yes ; for, for such food, little relish could remain, on 
the part of persons devoted to the religion of Jesus : 
from fornication, yes ; for, for a sacrifice in this shape, 
even among the Gentiles, some preparation had been 

^. 3. Debates — Course carried by James^ 8fc. 169 

made by stoicism. But, as to blood and things 
strangled^, that is to say, animals so slaughtered as 
to have more blood left in their carcases than the 
Mosaic law would allow to be left in them — animals 
slaughtered otherwise than in the Jewish, manner, — 
thus forbidding teachers of the religion of Jesus, to eat 
a meal furnished by Gentile hands, — this, as above oh- 
served, was depriving them of their most favourable 
opportunities, for carrying tlieir pious aqd beneficent 
purposes into effect, by adding to the number of be- 

Altogether remarkable is the consideration, upon the 
face of it, by which, if the historian is to be believed, 
this decision was produced. ** For Moses of old 
** time hath in every city them that preach him, being 
" read in synagogues every sabbath day.f" May be so : 
but what if he has ? what is that to the purpose ? 
Good, if the question were about the Jews : but, it 
is not about the Jews : the Gentiles, and they only, 
are the subjects of it. And the Gentiles — ^what know 
or care thet/ about Moses ? what is it that is to send 
ihem into the synagogues, to hear any thing that is^ 
*• read in synagogues ?" 

By this imaginary abstinence from blood — (for, 
after all, by no exertion of Mosaic ingenuity could the 
flesh ever be completely divested oi the blood that had 
circulated in it) — of this perfectly useless prohibition, 
what would be the effect ? — Not only to oppose obsta- 
cles, to the exertions of Christian teachers, in their en- 
deavours to make converts among the Gentiles, — but, 
on the part of the Gentiles themselves, to oppose to 

* After the word blood, the mention made of things strangled 
seems to have been rather for explanation than as a separate ordi- 
nance. Of strangling, instead of bleeding in the Jewish stile, — 
what the effect would be, other than that of retaining blood, which 
the Masaic ordinance required should be let out, is not very ap- 

t Acts XV. 21. 

170 Ch. VL P^isUlll. Depuiaiton with Barnabas. 

them a needless difficulty, in the way of their conver* 
sion, by rendering it impossible for them, consistent- 
ly with the observance of this prohibition, to assod- 
ate with their unconverted friends and families at con- 
vivial hours. Thus much as to what concerns the 
Grentiles ♦. 

Since, and from that time, the religion of Jesus has 
spread itself: — we all see to w^at extent. Spread it- 
self: and by what means? By means of the de- 
cision thus fathered upon the Apostles ? Upon the 
Apostles, the Elders, and the whole Church? — ^No: 
but in spite of it, and by the neglect of it. 

Charged with a letter, containing this decision, 
did Paul, together with his friend E^rnabas, return 
from Jerusalem, — if the author of the Acts is to be 
believed, — to the society of Christian converts, by 
which he had been sent thither: charged with, this 
letter, carrying with it the authority of the whole fel- 
lowship of the Apostles. Paul himself — ^hePaul— ^hat 
sort of regard did he pay to it ? He wrote against 
it with all his might. No more Jewish rites ! No 
more Mosaic law ! Such is the cry, that animates the 
whole body of those writings of his which have reach- 
ed us. 



Of a decision, agreed upon and pronounced to the 
above eifect — a decision, expressed by a decree ; — ^and 

* Another observation there is that applies even to the Jews. 
By Moses were all these severed things forbidden. True : but so 
were a vast multitude of other things, from which (after the excep- 
tions here in (question) the prohibition is, by this decision, taken 
off. These things, still proposed to be prohibited, as often as they 
entered a synagogue, they would hear prohibited: boff^ would 
they all those other things, which, by this decision^ are left free. 

^»4, jResu/i, supposed Apostolic Decrecy Sfc. 171 

of a copy of that decree, included in and prefaced by a 
letter addressed to the saints at Antioch, — were Paul 
and Barnabas, along with others who were associated 
with them, on their return to that city, the bearers : — ' 
that b to say, if, as to these matters, credence is given, 
to the statement, made by the author of the Acts ; by 
whom the alledged decree and letter are given, in 
words, which, according to hi!n, were their very 
words : — these words are those which follow : 

22. Tlien pleased it the Apostles and Elders^ with the whole church, to send 
ehosen men of their own company to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas, and 

Silas, chief men among the brethnsn. '^23. And they wrote letters by tliara 

after this manner : Hie Apostles and ciders, and brethren, send greeting unto 

the brethren which arc of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. 

24. Forasmuch as we Imve heard, that certain which went out from us have 
troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye mu%t be circum- 
cised, and keep the law : to wliom we gave no such commandment: 25. 

It seemed good unto us, being assembled witli one accord, to send chosen 

men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26. Men that have 

basurded their lives for tlie name of our Lord Jesus Christ— 27. We havt 
sent therefore Judas and Silas, wlio shall also tell you the same tilings by 

mouth. 28. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay npon 

you no greater burden than these necessary things •-*— 29. That ye abstain 
from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and 
from fornication : flrom which if ye keep yourselves, ye shaU do well. Fare 
ye well. 8 0. So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch ; and 
wl en they had gathered tlic multitude together, they delivered the epistle. 

SI. WIdich when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 31. And 

Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exliortcd tlie brethren with 
many words, and conftrmed them. 

Supposing It genuine, — a most curious, important 
and interesting document, this letter and decree must 
be allowed to l^e. Supposing it genuine: and, in favour 
of its genuineness, reasons present themselves, which, 
so long as they remain unopposed, and no prepon- 
derating reasons in support of the contrary opinion 
are produced, must decide our judgment. 

Not long after the account of the acceptance given 
at Antioch to this decision,— comes that of a conjunct 
missionary excursion from that place made by 
Paul, with Timotheus, and perhaps Silas, for his com- 
panion. At the very commencement of this excur- 
sion — if, in the decree spoken of, this decree is to be 
understood as included ; (and there seems no reason 

172 Cki.Vl.Visiilll. Deputation with BarnabM. 

why it should not be), they are represented as taking 
an active part in the distribution of it. Acts xvi. 4. 
•* And (says the historian) as they** (Paul, &c-) " went 
" dirough the cities, they delivered them the decrees 
*' for to keep, that were ordained of the Apostles and 
*^ Elders that were at Jerusalem.** 

That, by Paul^ this token, of association with the 
Apostles, should at that time be exhibited and made 
manifest, seems altogether natural. It affords a fur- 
ther proof, of the need, which, at that period of his 
labours, he regarded himself as having, of the appear- 
ance — the outward signs at least — of a connection 
with the Apostles. 

True it is, that the persuasion of any such need is 
altogether inconsistent with that independence, which, 
in such precise and lofty terms, we have seen him 
declaring in his Epistle to his Galatians, — is suffi- 
ciently manifest. But, in the current chronology, the 
date, ascribed to that Epistle, is by five years posterior, 
to the date ascribed to the commencement of this ex- 
cursion : date of the excursion, a.d. 53 ; date of the 
Epistle, A.D. 58: difference, five years : and five years 
are not too great a number of years, for the experience 
of success and prosperity, to have raised to so high a 
pitch, the temperature of his mind*. 

Even before this time, we find him even outstretch- 
ing the concessions, which, in that decree, in the case 
of the Gentiles, in compliance with the scruples of tlie 
Jewish disciples they had to deal with, we have been 
seeing made by the Apostles, in favour of the Mosaic 
law. Abstinence — from meat offered to idols, from 
blood, from things strangled, and from fornication, — 

* In the account of this excursion^ Gakttia — now mentioned for 
the first time in the Acts, — is mentioned, in the number of the coun- 
tries, which, in the course of it, he vbited. It stands fourth : the 
preceding places being Derbe, Lystra, Iconium and Phrygia. Acts 
xvi. I to 6. In Acts xyiii. 23, " He.... went over [all] Galatia.... 
" strengthening the disciples.** 

§.4. Result^ supposed Apostolic Decree^ Sfc. 1/3 

composed all the Mosaic observances exacted m that 
decree. To these, he, in his practice, at this time, 
added another, and thai, in respect of extent, in a pro- 
digious degree a more important one : to wit, the sub- 
mitting to circumcision. For, to this painful observ- 
ance, — in which a submission to all the other Mosaic 
observances was implied, — ^he had already subjected 
his new convert Timotheus, whom, in this excursion, 
in addition to Silas, he took with him for a companion. 
Bom of a Greek father as he was, — ^adult as he was, 
— ^he took him, says the historian, and circumcised 
him. Circumcised him — ^and ^hy ? — " Because of 
the %/ews^ which were in those quarters ♦." 

* Acts xvi. 1 to 3. Then came he to Deibe and Lystra : and be- 
hold, a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, the son of a 
certain woman^ which was a Jewess and believed : but his father 
was a Greek : — 2. Which was well reported of by the brethren that 
were at Lystra and Iconium. — 3. Him would Paul have to go forth 
to him, and took and circumcised him, because of the Jews which 
were in those quarters : for they knew all that his father was a 

( 174 ) 


Paul disbelieved continued. — After his Third Jeru- 
salem Visits Contest between him and Peter at An- 
tioch. Partition Treaty : Pauiybr himself: Peter, 
James, afid Johu, for the Apostles. 



GALATIANS ii. 1 to IC. 
1. Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Py"*f»«ffs 

and took Titus with me also. 1. And I went up by revelation, and ooio- 

municated unto tliem that Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but 
privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means T should run, 
or had run, in vain.— S. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, 
was compelled to be circumcised ; ■■ 4 . And that because of ialae bmltRa 
unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we 
have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage. 5 . To whom 
we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour ; that the truth of the Go- 
spel might continue with you. 6. But of those who seemed to be somcw 
what, wliatioever they were, it maketh no matter to me : God acoepteCh no 
man's person : for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added no- 
thing to me ; 7. But contrariwise, when they saw that tlie gospel of the 
uncircumcision was committed unto me, a$ the gostftel of the circumcision was 
unto Peter ; 8 . (For he that vnx>uglit effectually in Peter to the apostle- 
ship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in mc toward the Gentiles ;) 
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, per- 
ceived tlie grace that was ^ven unto me, tlicy gave to mc and Barnabas 
tlie right hands of fellowship; that we should qo unto tlic* heathen, and they 

unto the circumcision. 10. Only tliey woiud that we shoidd remember 

the jK)or ; tlic same which I also was forward to do —1 1, But wken PeUr 

was come to Antiochi Itmihstood fdm to thefkce, because he was to be blamed. 

12. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with tlie Gentiles: 
but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them 

which were of the circumcision. IS. And the other Jews dissembled Kke^ 

wise witli him ; insomuch tliat Barnabas also was carried away with tlieir dis- 
simulation. 14. But when I saw tliat they walked not uprightly accord- 
ing to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all. If thou, 
bemg a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do tlie Jews, why 

compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews ? 1 5. We who are Jews 

by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16. Knowing that a man is not 

'ustified by the works of tlie law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have 
believed in Jesus Christ, that we ifiight be justified by the faitli of Christ, and 
not by the works of the law : for by the works of the law shall no flesh b» 

§, !• Cantesi and Pariiiion Treaty^ Sfc. 1/5 

So much for the question about Jewish rites. 

We come now to the state of affitirs between Paul 
and Peter. Concerning this, we have little, as hath 
been seen, from the author of the Acts : from' Paul 
himself, not much : but what there is of it Is of prime 

On this occasion, to judge from the account given 
in the Acts, — ^between Pkul and Peter, all was bar* 
mony. In their principles, in their speeches, they 
may be seen pleading on the same side : arguing, 
and arguing in vain, both of them, against the supe-^ 
rior influence of James : of that James, of whose 
written works, in comparison of those we have from 
Paul, we have so little. But presently, on one side 
at least, — we shall see contention — persevering con- 
tention — and rival ambition, for the cause of it. 

In this pr^nant and instructive letter — (PauFs 
second letter to his Galatians) — the authenticity of 
which seems to be altogether out of the reach of doubt, 
— among the particulars, that bear relation to this the 
third visit, the following are those, by which the great- 
est share of attention seems demanded at our hands. 

In the first place, let us view them in the order in 
which they stand: that done, the degree of importance 
may determine the order in which they are considered. 

1. Fourteen is the number of years, between this 
third visit of his to Jerusalem, reckoning either ixoxn 
the first of his visits made to that same holy place 
after his conversion, or from his departure from Da- 
mascus after his return thither from Arabia. 

2. On this journey of his to Jerusalem, he has with 
him not only Barnabas, as mentioned in the Acts, 
but TituSf of whom no mention is there made. 

3. It is by revelation, that this journey of his was 

4. The Gospel, which he then and there preaches, 
is a Gospel of his own. 

176 Ch- VII. Qmiesi— Partition Treaty. 

5. Private at the same time, and for reasons there- 
upon given, is his mode of communicating it. 

6. Titus, though at his disposal, he leaves uncir- 

/• False brethren is the appellation he bestows 
upon those, who, on this occasion, standing up for 
the Mosaic law, give occasion to this debate. 

8. Elders, Apostles, kinsmen of Jesus, — be they 
who they may, — ^he, Paul, is not on this occasion a 
man to give place to any such persons : to give place 
by subjection : Oig »Si T§og eigav ti^u(ii¥ rri ixorayri : 
say rather in the way of subordination. 

9. Unnamed 'are the persons, on whom the vitupt- 
ration he discharges, is poured forth. Thus much 
only is said of them : namely, (verse 12.) that they 
** came from James," the brother of our Lord. Con- 
temptuous throughout is the manner, in which, he 
speaks of all those persons whom he does not name. 
Quere, Who are they, to whom (in every thing that 
goes before that same verse,) he is alluding ? It seems 
from thence, that it was with James, from whom they 
received support, that those scruples of theirs, out 
of which sprung these differences and negotiations, 

10. Leaving the Jews to Peter, — he claims to 
himself as his own the whole population of the Gen- 

1 1 • To this effect, an explicit agreement was ac- 
tually entered into ; parties, he and Barnabas of the 
one part ; James, Peter, (by his Hebrew surname of 
Cephas), and John, of the other part. 

12. Of this agreement, one condition was — that, of 
such pecuniary profit, as should be among the fruits 
of the labours of Paul among the Gentiles, a pari 
should be remitted, to be at the disposal of Peter. 

13. Paul, at the time of this visit, stood up against 

14. The cause, of his doing so, was — an alledged 

^.1. Contest and Treaty ^ per Acts Sf Epistles. \77 

weakness and inconsistency in the conduct of<^eter, 
and his gaining to his side — not only Jews of inferior 
account, but Barnabas. 

15. The weakness and inconsistency consisted in 
this: viz. that whereas he himself had been in use to 
act with the Gentiles, yet, after the arrival at Antioch 
of those who came from James at Jerusalem, — he, 
from fear of the Jewish converts, not only ceased to 
eat with the Grentiles, but to the extent of his influ* 
ence forced the Gentile converts to live after the 
manner of the Jews. 

16. On the occasion of this bis dispute with Peter, 
he gave it explicitly as his opinion, — that, to a convert 
to the religion of Jesus, Jew or Gentile, — observance 
of the Mosaic law would, as to every thing peculiar to 
it, be useless, not to say worse than useless, (Gal. ii. 
16.) "for by the works of the law shall no flesh be 
" justified/' 

I . As to his place in relation to the Apostles. His 
was not inferior to any body's : upon terms altogether 
equal did he treat with the Apostles : in and by the 
first partition treaty, — ^he, with Barnabas for his col- 
league, — Barnabas, from whom, according to the 
Acts, be afterwards separated, — obtains the whole of 
the Gentile world for the field of their labours. Thus 
elevated, according to his account of the matter, was 
the situation, occupied by him on the occasion of this 
his third visit to Jerusalem, in comparison of what 
it had been at the time of his first,— and, to all appear- 
ance, at the time of the second. At the time of his 
first visit, the Apostles, — ^all but Peter and James, upon 
which two Barnabas forced him, — turned their backs 
upon him : upon his second visit, none of them, as 
far as appears, had any thing to do with him : now, 
upon his third visit they deal with him upon equal 
terms : and now, not only Peter and James, but John, 
are stated as having intercourse with him. 


178 Ch.VII. Paul mid Peter^Gmie^i, ifc. 

2.^0f tbb partition treaty, important at k tf, no 
mention is to be found in the Acts. From fir^ to 
last, — in the account given in the Acts, no audi figure 
does he make as in his own. In the Acts, of the 
speech of Peter, and even of that of James, the sub- 
stance is reported : of Pwl\ nothing more than the 
subject, viz. his own achievements among the Gen* 
tiles : againstPaurs opinion, as well as Peter's, the eom- 
promise, moved by James, is represented aa carried. 

3. As to the cause, or occasion, of his third visit to 
Jerusalem. In the account given in the Acts, it is 
particularly and clearly enough explained. It b in oon- 
juncticm with Barnabas that he goes thither: both of 
them, to confer with the Apostles and elders, on the 
subject of the notion, entertained by numbers aniong 
the Jewish converts, that, by conversion to the religion 
of Jesus, they were not set free from any of the oUi- 
gations imposed by the law of Moses. 

Of this commission, — creditable as it could not but 
have been to him,— Paul, in his account of the matter, 
as given to the Galatians, makes not the least men- 
tion. No : it is not from men on this occasion nor 
on others, it is not from men, that he received his au- 
thority, but from God : it b by revehition, that is, 
immediately from God, and by a sort of miracle. 

4. What, in obedience to this revelation, he was to 
do, and did accordingly, was, — ^the preaching <^ a 
gospel of his own ; a gospel which as yet be had not 
preached to any body but the Gentiks. Preai;)iing ? 
how and where ? in an assembly of the whole body of 
the believers in Jesus, the Apostles themselves in- 
eluded ? No : but privately, and only to the leading 
men among diem : '* to them which were of reputa- 
" tion.'* 

A gospel of his own ? Yes : that he did. Further 
on, it will be seen what it was : a Gospel, of which, as 
far a« appears from the evangelists, no traces are to 

§. 1, CofUe^ and Treaty, per Ads 8f Epistles. 179 

be found, in any thing said by Jesus : especially, if 
what, on that occasion, he (Paul) taught by word of 
mouth at Antioch, agreed with what we shall find 
him teaching in his Epistles. 

5. '* False brethren unawares brought in, who came 
** in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in 
** Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage,** 
Liberty ? what liberty ? eridently that liberty, which 
consisted in exemption from the ceremonials of tlie 
Mosaic law. Who then were these false brethren, 
these sticklers for the ceremonial law ? If the ac- 
count in the Acts is to be believed, — they were the 
greater part of the fraternity of Christians in Jerusa- 
lem : a party so considerable, that Peter, the chief of 
the Apostles, though in his sentiments on this sub- 
ject so decidedly and completely opposite to them, 
was obliged to give way to it : and^ as to several of 
the obligations,— by which, as above stated, no small 
obstacle was opposed to the progress of the religion 
of Jesus, — the whole body of the Apostles found them* 
selves under the like necessity. If he hunself is to 
be believed, (Gal. ii 12.) the men in question were 
men, who, if they continued in those scruples in which 
they went beyond the brother of our Lord, had, at any 
rate, in the first instance, received from that highly 
distinguished personage their instructions. And shortly 
after this, (Acts xvi. 3.) in deference to this party, 
Pkul himself ^* took Timothy, a Gentile, and cir- 
" cumcised him.** But, supposing the public transac- 
tions, thus reported in the history of the author of the 
Acts, to have really had place; — namely, mission of 
Pkol and Barnabas, from the Christians of Antioch to 
Jerusalem, — mission of Judas Barsabas and Silas, from 
the Apostles and elders, with Paul and Barnabas in 
their company, to Antioch, — letter of the Apostles 
and elders sent by them to the Christians of Antioch, 
---^1 this supposed, how erroneous soever in their opi- 
nions, in afiirmance of the obligatoriness of these ce- 

N 2 

180 Ch.VII. Paul and Peier-^Coniesi, 8fc. 

remonials, — this majority, to whose scruples the whole 
body of the Apostles saw reason to give way,— could 
they, by this self-intruded convert, be considered as 
persons to whom the epithet kA false brethren^ would 
be admitted to be applicable ? 

6. Does it not seem, rather, that this story, about 
the deputation of Paul and Barnabas to the Apostles 
and brethren at Jerusalem from the Apostles at An- 
tioch, and the counter deputation of Judas Barsabas, 
and Silas, to accompany Paul and Barnabas on their 
return to Antioch, bearing all of them together a let- 
ter from the Apostles at Jerusalem, — ^was an invention, 
of the anonymous author of the Acts ? or else a story, 
either altogether false, or false in great part, picked 
up by him, and thus inserted ? 

Mark now, in this letter of Paul, another circum- 
stance: and judge whether it tends not to cast discre- 
dit on what is said of Peter in the Acts. 

In the Acts account, we have seen Peter, in the great 
council, supporting, in a son of speech, the liberty side 
—of the question, — Jesus against Moses, — supporting 
it in that great council, in which, in that same account, 
Paul, though present, is, as to that point, represented 
as silent : in that same account, shall we see Peter, five 
years before this time, addressing himself to the Gen- 
tiles, — using this same liberty, — and, when called to 
account for doing so, employing his pair of visions 
(his and Cornelius's) (Acts x. a. 4 1.) in and for his de- 
fence : we shall see him in this new part of his career, 
— in this part, for which he was by both education and 
habits of life so ill qualified, — we shall see him so 
much in earnest in this part of his labours, as to have 
expended miracles, — a supernatural cure, and even a 
raising from the dead, — ^for his support in it. 

Had any such facts really happened — facts in their na- 
ture so notorious, — would Paul, in this letter of his to 
the Galatians, have spoken of Peter, as if he had never 
made, or attempted to make, any progress in the con- 

§. I. Contest and Treaty y per Acts 5f Epistles, 181 

version of the Gentiles ? Speaking of the sticklers for 
Moses, as well as of Peter, — would he have said 
" When they saw that the Gospel of the uncireumci- 
" sion was committed unto me, as the Gospel of the 
" circumcision was to Peter ?" (Gal. ii. 7) or, (v. 8.) 
" For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the Apos- 
'* tleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in 
** me toward the Gentiles ?" 

That, in some way or other, Peter had tried his 
hand upon some persons who were Gentiles — ^in this 
there is nothing but what may well enough be believed ; 
provided it be also believed — that, in the experiment 
so made by him, he had little or no success: — for, that 
after the expenditure of two such miracles of so public 
a nature, besides a pair of visions, — ^he had after all 
made so poor a hand of it, as to be content to give up 
to Paul the whole of his prospects from that quarter, 
— does it seem credible ? 

8. As to the partition-treaty itself, — whatsoever were 
the incidents that had brought it about, nothing could 
be more natural— nothing more probable — nothing 
more beneficial to the common cause — to the religion 
of Jesus, meaning always so far as the religion taught 
by Paul was conformable to it. Each retained to him- 
self the only part of the field, for the cultivation of 
wTiich he was qualified : each gave up no other part of 
the field, than that, for the cultivation of which he was 
not qualified. 

9. Gal. ii. 12. " For before that certain came from 
" James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they 
"were come, he withdrew, and separated himself, 
"fearing them which were of the circumcision. 

10. ii. 7. "But contrariwise, when they saw that the 
" gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto 
" me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter. 

11. ii. 9. "And when James, Cephas, and John, who 
" seemed to be pillars^ perceived the grace that was 

given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the 


182 Ch. VII. Paul and Peler-^Contesi, ifc. 

*^ right hands of fellowship ; that we should go unto 
^* the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 

12. Galat. ii. 10. '' Only they would that we should 
*' remember the poor ; the same which I also was for- 
" ward to do. 

13. ii. 11. ^'But when Peter was come to Antioch, 
** 1 withstood him to the face, because he was to be 
** blamed. 

14. ii. 12. ^'Forbefore that certain came from James, 
'* he did eat with the Gentiles : but when they were 
^* come, he withdrew, and separated himself, fearing 
" them which were of the circumcision. — 13. And the 
'^ other Jews dissembled likewise with him ; insomuch 
" that Barnabas also was carried away with their dis- 
*' simulation. 

15. ii. 14. '' But when I saw that they walked not 
** uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I sud 
" unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, 
" livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do 
*' the Jews, why oompellest thou the Gentiles to live 
<< as do the Jews ? 

16. ii. 16. ^^ Knowing that a man is not justified by 
** the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus 
" Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that 
'' we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not 
** by the works of the law : for by the works of the 
** law shall no flesh be justified." 

Note, in this same letter, the mention made of 
Peter*s eating with the Gentiles. " For before that 
** certain came from James, he (Peter) did eat with 
** the Gentiles : but when they were come, he with- 
^*drew and separated himself, fearing them which 
" were of the circumcision*." 

Note here, an additional reason for discrediting the 
wholestoryof Peter*s expedition, — miraclesBXid visions 
included, — as reported in the Acts. In regard to the 

* Gal. ii. 12. 

^, 2. Treaty — Financial Sitpnhiion^ 8fc. 183 

visions, — from this circumstance it may be seen, that 
either no such visions were, as stated in the Acts"*, 
related by Peter, on his delfence against the accusa- 
tions preferred against him on this ground, — or that, if 
any such relation was given, no credit was given to it : 
for, it is after this, and, according to appearance, long 
after, — that, according to the Acts^f*, the meeting at 
Jerusalem took place ; that meeting, at which, at the 
motion of James, the adherence to the Mosaic law waa 
indeed in part dispensed with ; but, so* far as regards 
the practice charged uponPeterasan offence, — namely 
the eating with the Gentiles, insisted on and ordained. 
If PauPs evidence was good and conclusive evidence 
in support of PauYs visions, — ^how came Peter's evi- 
dence not to be received as good and conclusive evi- 
dence in support of Peter's visions ? Pieiurs evidence, 
with the visions reported by it, was not better evidence, 
in supportof his claim to the Apostleship, — thanPbter's 
visions, if the account in the Acts is to be believed, 
in support of the abrogation of the Mosaic law. Yet, 
as, according to the author of the Acts, by Paul's ac- 
count of his visions, the Apostles were not any of them 
convinced ; so here, according to Paul, by Peter's ac« 
count of his visions, if ever really related to the fel- 
lowship of the Apostles, and to the elders, — their asso* 
ciates, — ^that same goodly fellowship was not con- 
vinced. , 



Of this important treaty, mention may have been seen 
above. In the financial stipulation which may have 
been observed in it,^-may be seen a circumstance, by 

* Actsxi. 1—18. 

t Ibid. XV. 1 — 33 : not less tlion five years after. 

184 Ch. VII. Paul mid Peter—^Contest, 8fc. 

which an additional degree of credibility seems to be 
given, to PauFs account of the transaction; at the same 
time that light is thrown upon the nature of it. 
Paul alone, with his adherents, were to address them- 
selves to the Gentiles : but, in return for the coun- 
tenance given to him by Peter and the rest of the 
Apostles, he was to remember the poor ; which is 
what (says he) ** I also was forward to do," Now, 
as to the remembering the poor, what is meant by it 
at this time of day, was meant by it at that time of 
day, or it would not have been meant by it at this: 
— supplying money (need it be added ?) for the use 
of the poor. Whatsoever, in relation to this money, 
was the intention of the rulers, — ^whether to retain 
any part in compensation for their own trouble, or 
to distribute among the poor the whole of it, without 
deduction ; — in other words, whether profit as well as 
patronage, — or patronage alone, and without profit, — 
was to be the fruit ;— human nature must, in this 
instance, have ceased to be human nature, if, to the 
men in question-^ Apostles as they were — the money 
could have been altogether an object of indifference. 
According to a statement, to which, as above, (ch. ii.) 
though containedin this anonymous history, there seems 
no reason to refuse credence, — community of goods — a 
principle, even now, in these days, acted upon by the 
Moravian Christians — ^was a principle, acted upon in 
those days, by the Jewish Christians. The property 
of each was thrown into one common stock: and the 
disposal of it was committed to a set of trustees, who 
— it is positively related — were confirmed, and, to all 
appearance, were recommended by, — and continued 
to act under the influence of, — the Apostles. 

On neither side were motives of the ordinary hu- 
man complexion — motives by which man*s nature 
was made to be governed — ^wanting, to the contract- 
ing parties. By Peter and the rest of the Apostles, 
much experience had been acquired, of the activity 

§•2, Treaty — Ftnanciat StipiUaiion, ifc. 185 

and energy of this their self-constituted colleague: 
within that field of action, which alone was suited 
to their powers, and within which they had stood ex- 
posed to be disturbed by his interference, within that 
field to be secured against such interference, — was, to 
them and their interests, an object of no small moment. 
Such seems to have been the consideration, on the part 
of the acknowledged and indisputable Apostles. 

Not less obvious was the advantage, which, by the 
stipulation of this same treaty in his favour, was 
in a still more effectual manner, secured to Paul. 
That, when the whole transaction was so fresh, — all 
that Paul was able to say for himself, with all that 
Barnabas was able to say for him, had not been suf- 
ficient, to induce the Apostles to give credence to his 
story about the manner of his conversion, — in a word, 
to regard him in any other light than that of an 
impostor, — is directly asserted by the author of the 
Acts. So again, in his unpremeditated speech to 
the enraged multitude (Acts xxii. 18), "They will 
" not receive thy testimony concerning me," is the 
information which the Acts makes him report as hav- 
ing been communicated to him by the Lord, when 
" while I prayed in the Temple (says he, ver. 17,) I 
" was in a trance." Should a charge to any such effect 
happen to encounter him in the course of his labours ; 
— should he, in a word, find himself stigmatized as an 
impostor; — find himself encountered by a certificate of 
impostorship; — a certificate^ signed by the known and 
sole confidential servants, as well as constant compa- 
nions, of that Jesus, whom — without so much as pre- 
tending any knowledge of his person, he had thus pre- 
tended to have heard without seeing him, — and at atime 
and place, in which he was neither heard nor seen by 
any body else; — it is obvious enough, in any such case, 
how formidable an obstruction of this sort was liable 
to prove. On the other hand^ so he were but once 

186 Ch. VII. Paul and Peter,— Contest, bfc. 

seen to be publicly recognised, in the character of an 
associate and acknowledged labourer in the same 
field, — ^a recognition of him in that character — a vir- 
tual recognition at least, if not an express one — would 
be seen to have taken place : — a recognition, such as 
it would scarcely, at any time after, be in thdr power 
to revoke: since it would scarcely be possible for 
them, ever to accuse him of the principal ofl^nce, 
without accusing themselves of the correspondent 
eonnivance. Note, that, of this treaty, important as 
it was — this partition-treaty — ^by which a division was 
made of the whole Christian world — ^no mention, not 
any the least hint, is to be found in the Acts. 

Thus much for this third visit of PauFs to Jerusa- 
lem, reckoning from the time of his conversion : thus 
much for this third visit, and the partition-treaty that 
was the result of it. In and by his fourth visit to 
that original metropolis of the Christian world, — we 
shall see how this same treaty was violated — ^violated, 
without any the slightest reason or pretext, or so 
much as an attempt, on the part of his anonymous 
biographer, — either by his own mouth, or by that of 
his hero, — to assign a motive. Violated — that is to 
say, by and on the part of Paul : for, of Peter, no 
further mention is, in all this hisory, to be found* 

The truth is — that, instead of "the Acts of the Apo» 
sties,** the History of Pfeul — namely, from the time of 
his conversion to the time of his arrival at Rome — 
would have been the more proper denomination of it 
Of any other of the Apostles, and their acts, — ^little, if 
any thing, more is said, than what is just sufficient 
to prepare the reader, for the history of P&ul, by 
bringing to view the state of the Christian world, at 
the time of his coming upon the stage. As to Stunt 
Peter, — the author's chief hero being all along Saint 
Paul (in whose train, during this last-mentioned of his 
excursions, he represents himself as being establish- 

§. 3. Treaty— Time, probably Visit I. 187 

ed), — what is said of Saint Peter and his achieve- 
ments, stands, as it were, but as an episode* And 
though, by this historiographer, no mention is made 
of the partition' treaty 9 it has eventually been of use to 
us, by serving to show what, at the time of entering 
into that engagement, was the situation of St. F^ter ; 
and how good the title is, which the transaction pre« 
sents to our credence, — as being so natural, because so 
manifestly for the advantage of both the contracting 
parties, as well as of the reKgion of Jesus, in so far 
as that of Paul was conformable to it. 



Th£ time, at which this partition -treaty took place, 
appears involved in much obscurity, and presents 
some (Ufficulties: question-— whether it was at the 
first, or not till the third, of the sevisits — of these 
four visits of Paul's to Jerusalem. 

The consideration, by which the assigning to it the 
time of the first visit has been determimd, is-— that it 
was at this first visit, that the demand for it, in respect 
of all interests concerned^ namely, that of the religion 
of Jesus — that of the existing Cbristiaos in general, 
—as well as that of the individuals particularly con- 
cerned on both sides, — took place : that, from that 
time, so, as far as appears, did the observance of it : 
and that it was not till a long time after, that either 
symptoms, or complunts of non«observance, seem to 
have made their appearance. 

4. Among the conditions of the treaty, the financial 
stipulation has been brought to view : — ^party to be re- 
membered, the poor — ^then under the gentle sway of 
the Apostles : party, by whom they were to be remem- 
bered, Paul — their recognised, though, for aught ap- 

188 Ch. VIL Paul and Peter-^Contest, 8fc. 

pears, no otherwise than locally and negatively recog- 
nisedy associate. In and by the Deputation Visit, 
on the part of Paul, with the assistance of Barnabas, 
— we see this stipulation actually conformed to and 
carried into effect. From the Christians at Antioch 
to the Apostles at Jerusalem, — for the benefit of the 
poor, at that metropolis of the Christian world, by 
. the conjoined hands of Paul and Barnabas, — money, 
it has been seen, was actually brought. 

On the other hand, an observation which, at first 
sight, may seem to shut the door against this supposi- 
tion, is — that whereas in his letter, to his Galatians, 
Gal. i. 18, 19, after saying ** I went up to Jerusa- 
*^ lem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days," 
and adding, ^* But other of the Apostles saw I none, 
" save James, the Lord*s brother ;" he, not more than 
fourteen verses afterwards, (Gal. ii. 9,) in the verse in 
which his account of this important treaty is continued, 
— speaks as if it was at that very time that he had 
seen-^not only the above two Apostles, on this occa- 
sion designated by the names of James and Cephas — 
— but John likewise : and that this must have been 
his third Jerusalem visit, because it is after menium 
made of that same third visit, which, in a passage inter- 
mediate between these (namely, Gal. ii. 1), is stated, in 
express terms, as being by fourteen years posteriortohis 
first visit*, that this circumstance, of his seeing John 
likewise, is mentioned as having had place. 

But, in neither of these considerations, is there 
any thing, that presents itself as conclusive, against 
the supposition — that whatever treaty there was, took 
place at the first visit. 

1 • As to the first, at that time it is, tliat for giving 

intimation of the treaty, giving the right hands of 

fellowship is the expression employed : and that if 

* Gal. ii. I . " Then fourteen years after, I went up agmn to 
*' Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also." 

§. 3. Treaty-^Txme, probably Visit I. 189 

this union were to be taken in a literal, and thence in 
a physical sense, as an agreement in which, as a to- 
ken of mutual consent, the physical operation of 
junction of hands was employed, — here must have 
been an actual meeting, in which John was seen as 
well as the two others — and, consequently, on the 
supposition that the account thus given by Paul, is, 
in this particular, on both occasions correct, — ^this 
must have been a different meeting from the first : 
on which supposition, on comparison with the ac- 
count given in the Acts of PauVs second visit, — there 
can be no difficulty in determining that this visit can- 
not have been any other than the third. But, so evi- 
dently figurative is the turn of the expression, — that, 
eveii in the language used in this country at this time, 
slight indeed, if it amounted to any thing at all, 
would be the force, of the inference drawn from it, in 
favour of the supposition of mutual presence. To 
signify an agreement on any point — especially if re- 
garded as important — ^who is there that would scruple 
to speak of his having given the right hand of fellow- 
ship to another, although it were known to be only by 
letter ? or, even through the medium of a common 
friend, and without any personal intercourse ? 

2. As to the other consideration, whatsoever might 
be the force of it, if applied to a composition of mo- 
dern times — after so many intervening centuries, du- 
ring several of which the arts of literary composition 
have, with the benefit of the facilities afforded by the 
press, been the subject of general study and practice ; 
—whatsoever on this supposition might be the force 
of it, applied to the style and character of Paul, little 
weight seems necessary to be attached to it. Of the 
confusion — designed or undesigned — in which the 
style of this self-named Apostle involves every point it 
touches upon, not a page can be read without present- 
ing samples in abundance, to every eye that can en- 
dure to open itself to them : in this very work, some 

190 Ch. VIL Paul and Peter^Omtest, Sfc. 

must probably bave already offered thetnaelveB to no- 
tice; and before it doses, many will be presented in 
this express view: the point in question belongs to 
the field of chronology : and, of the perturbate mode 
of his operation in this field, a particular exempli- 
fication has been already brought to view*, in a 
passage, in which, of a long tram of sufferings and 
perils, — some real, some to all appearance not so — 
the one first undergone is last mentioned f. From 
the order in which two events are mentioned by thb 
writer, no argument, in any degree conclusive, can be 
deduced, for the persuasion, that that which stands 
fir&t mentioned, was so much as intended by him to 
be regarded as that which first took place. 

In the very passage, in which the giving the right 
hands of fellowship to him and Barnabas is men- 
tioned, and immediately after these very words, — it is 
said — that ** we [shauidgo] unto the heathen, and 
^^ they unto the circumcision.** Thus, then, the con- 
junct excursion of Paul and Barnabas — an excursion, 
not commenced till about ten years after this same first 
visit (Acts xiii. and xiv.), is mentioned, as an inddent 
at that time future. True it is, that the word directly 
expressive of the future is, in the English translation, 
but an interpretation, and as such marked. But, had 
any prior excursion of Uiis land taken place before, 
there seems no reason to suppose, that the event, 
which, by the context, would surely have been taken 
for an event then as yet to come, — ^would, bad the in- 
tention been to represent it as no more than a repe- 
tition of what Imd taken place already, have recdved 
a form, so ill adapted to its intended purpose. 

But, two verses before, stands that, in whidi mention 
is made of the circumstance, by which, according to 

* Ch. II. Motives to Conversion. §. 4. 

f 2 Cor. ii. 32 : " In Damascus, the governor under Aretaa 
'* the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, de* 
" sirous to apprehend me/' &c. namely, on his conversion. 

^. 3. Treaty— Jhncy probably Ftsit I. 191 

P^ui, the course taken by the Apostles, in respect of 
tbdr entering into this treaty, is brooght to view. 
^ But contrariwise*' (savs he. Gal. ii. 7), '* when they 
'* saw that the Gospel of the uncircumcision was com- 
^ mitted unto me, as [the Gospef] of the drcumci* 
'' sion was unto Peter :** 9. *' And when James, Ce- 
" phae, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived 
*' the grace that was given to me, they gave to me 
" and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship ; that 
'* we [shauidgd] unto the heathen,**. • . .&c. 

Now these perceptions — ^the percepUons thus as- 
cribed by him to the Apostles — ^when was it that they 
were obtained ? Evidently at no time whatever, if 
not at the time of hinjb'st visit : for, these were the 
perceptions — say rather the conceptions— the convey- 
ance of which is beyond dispute manifest, not only 
from the whole nature of the case, according to the 
accounts we have of it, but from the account ex* 
pressly given by the author of the Acts ; and that ac- 
count, in some part confirmed, and not in any part 
contradicted, by Paul himself, and in this very epistle*. 

* To this same Partition Treaty^ allusion seems discernible In 
Paul's Epistle to his Roman adherents. Romans xv. 15 to 22. 
15. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto 
you, in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace 

that is given to me of God, 16. That I should be the minister 

of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, 
that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being 

sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 17. I have therefore whereof I 

may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to 
God . ■ 18. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things 
which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obe- 
dient by word and deed, 19. Through mighty signs and won- 
ders by the power of the spirit of God ; so that from Jerusalem, 
and round about unto lllyncum, I have fully preached the Gospel 

of Christ. 20. Yea, so I have strived to preach the Gospel, not 

where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's 

foundation : 21 . But, as it is written. To whom he was not 

spoken of, they shall see : and they that have not heard shall un- 

192 Ch. VII. Paul and Peter— Qmiesi, 8fc. 

To conclude. That, at the time of the Deputation 
Visit, (Visit III.) the treaty in question could not but 
have been on the carpet, seems (it must be confessed) 
altogether probable, not to say unquestionable. But, 
that at the time of the Reconciliation Visit, (Visit L) 
— it was already on the carpet, seems, if possible, still 
more so. For, without some understanding between 
Pftul andthe Apostles — ^and that to the effect of this 
same treaty (the impossibility that PauFs conversion 
story should have been the cause, having, it is believed, 
been herein above demonstrated) without some under- 
standing of this sort, neither the continuance ascribed 
to the Reconciliation Visit, nor the existence of either 
of the two succeeding visits, to wit the Money-bring- 
ing Visit, and this Deputation Visit, seem within the 
bounds of moral possibility "i^. 

dentand. ^22. For which cause also I have been much hindered 

from coming to you. 

* From this passage in PauFs Epistle to his Galatians i, com- 
pared with a passage m his first Epistle to the Corinthians X, — the 
Dible edited by Scholey^ in a note to Acts xv. Q9, (being the pas- 
sage in which the rupture between Paul and Barnabas is mention- 
edj) draws the inference^ that, after this rupture between Paul and 
Barnabas, a reconciliation took place. 

From the passage in question, if taken by itself, true it is that 
this supposition is a natural one enough. For, according to all 
appearances, the date of this Epistle to the Corinthians is posterior 
to that of the rupture : and, from the conjunct mention of the two 
names, if there were no evidence on the other side, it might natu- 
rally enough be supposed probable, how far soever from certain,that 
the intention was thereby, to report the two persons, as operating 
in conjunction, and even in each other's company. But, to the pur- 
pose of the argument no such supposition (it will be seen) is ne- 
cessary. Labouring they both were herein represented to be, and 
to all appearance were, in the same field, viz. the field of the Gen- 
tiles : labouring, after and in conformity to this same treaty — ^the 
agreement made by them with the Apostles — the partition treaty so 

f Gal ii. 9. " They gave to rae and Baniabas the tight hands of feUowahip, 
that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the clrcumcisicn." 

\ 1 Cor. ii. 6. ** Or, I only, and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear 

§. 3. Treaty— Time probably Visit I. 193 

often mentioned. But, from this it followed not^ by any means^ that 
they were labouring in the some pari of that field. For the purpose 
of the argument^ the question was — ^Whatwas the sort of relation, 
that had taken place^ between these two preachers on the one part, 
and their respective disciples on the other Mt is of this relation 
that it is stated by Paul, and stated truly, that as between him and 
Barnabas, it was the same : both being actual labourers in their 
respective parts of the same field : both being equally at liberty to 
ceast from, to put an end to, their respective labours at any time : 
not that both were labouring in the same place, or in any sort df 
concert. '' Or 1 only, and Barnabas, have not we (says Paul) 
" power to forbear working \ " 

Thus inconclusive is the argument, by which the existence of a 
reconciliation is inferred. Against evidence so weak, the contrary 
evidence seems decisive. Aner mention made by him of the rup- 
ture, — had any reconciliation ever taken place, within the compiuss of 
time embraced by his history, would the author of the Acts have left 
it unnoticed ? That, among his objects was the painting every inci- 
dent, in colours at least as favourable, to the church in general, and 
to Paul in particular, as he durst, — is sufficiently manifest. By a rup- 
ture between two such holy persons, — a token, more or less mipres- 
stve, of human infirmity, could not but be presented to view : and^ 
to any reflecting mind — in those marks ot warmth at least, to say 
nothing worse, which, from first to last, are so conspicuous, in the 
character and conduct, of this the historian's patron and principal 
hero, ground could scarce fail to be seen, for supposing— that it was 
to his side rather than that of Barnabas — the generous and ever 
disinterested Barnabas — that the blame, principally, if not czclu* 
sively, appertained. 

( 194 ) 


Interview the Fourth. — Peter at ^ntioeh. — Deputies 
to Aniiochfroni Jemsalem^ Judas and Suas. — 
Paul disagrees with Peter and Barnabas^ quits 
Antioch^ and on a Mtssumary Excursion takes 
with hhn Silas. What concerns the Partition 
Treaty^ down to this Period^ reviewed. — Peter 
and the Apostles justified. 



W^E now come to the last of the four difierent and 
more or less distant occasions on which a personal 
intercourse, in some way or other, is recorded as hav- 
ing had place, between Paul on the one part, and the 
Apostles or some of them on the other, antecedently 
to that, on which Paul's history (so far as any toleraUy 
clear, distinct, and material, information has descend- 
ed to us) closes. Of this interview, the scene lies at 
Antioch: Peter having, for some consideration no 
oth^nvise to be looked for than by conjecture, been 
led to pay a visit, to that place of PauFs then habitual 
abode, after, and, as seems probable, in consequence 
of, Paul's third recorded visit to Jerusalem — ^his De- 
putation Visit. 

Let us now cast an eye on the documents. Re- 
specting Paul's disagreement with Peter, the only one 
we have, is that which has been furnished us by Paul 
himself. It consists of the following passage in his 
Epistle to his Galatians. 

§.1. Pouts Account — Acts Account. 196 

GALATIANS ii. 11 to 16. 
1 1. But wbeti Peter was come to Antiodi, I withstood htm to the face, be- 
eaiiae he was to be blamecL^-^l 2. For before that oertam oame from James, 
he did eat with the Gentiles : but when they w«« come, he withdrew and se^ 

paimted dimself, fearing them which were of the circumdsion. IS. And 

the other Jews dissemUed likewise with him ; inaomudi that Barnabas also 

was carried away with their dissimulation. 14. But when I saw that they 

walked not ttpri^tly aecording to the truth of the Gospel, I aa*d unto Peter 
before ^hem all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and 
not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews ? 
««— 15. We vaho art Jews by nature and not sinners of the Gentiles,— —16. 
Knowing that aman is not justiiled by the works of the law, but by tbefidth 
of Jesus Christ, eren we have beliered in Jesus Christ, that we might be joKi- 
fied by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law : for by the wotka 
of the law shall no flesh be justified. 

Let us now see the account, given in the Acts, of 
what passed in Antioch, in relation to Paul, Barnabas 
and Silas, — during a period, which seems to be either 
the same, or one in contiguity with it, probably an- 
tecedent to it. 

ACTS XT. 35 to 41. 
35. Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, Imarhing and pAachinff 

the word of the Lord with memytithan also. 36. And some days aher, Paul 

said unto Barnabas, Let us fo again and visit our brethren, in erery dty when 

we have preached the word of the Lord, and see howtfaey do. 87. And 

Barnabas determined to take with them John whose surname was Mark.— 
38. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed ftom 
themlrom Pampfaylia, and went not with them to the work.— ^^9. And the 
contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from 

the other : and so Barnabas took Mark and sailed unto Cjrpnis ; 40. And 

Fiiid chose Silas and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the 
grace of God.^— ^1. And he went through Syria and Cilida, confirming the 

With regard to Pauls separation from Barnabas, 
departure from Antioch^ and taking Silas for a compa- 
nion, — we have nothing from Paul himself: nothing, 
from any other source, tfian, as above, the Acts. 

In PauFs account however, may be seen a passage, 
(Gal. ii. 13.) by which ^ome light is thrown upon the 
breach of Paul with Barnabas. In the Acts, though 
the ^^ contention'^ is said to be **sharpf** no cause is 
stated for it, other than a difference respecting the 
choice of a companion : namely, on an excursion, 
which they are represented as having agreed to make, 
in the company of each other, as before. 

But, according to P^ul, he had had cause of com- 

196 Ch. VIII. LitervicwTV. Peter visits Paul. 

plaint, against his old friend Barnabas, on another ac- 
count. Barnabas had sided with the Apostles: Bar- 
nabas had been ^' carried away with their dissimula- 
tion ;*' by the dissimulation of those Apostles of Je- 
sus, the virtuous simplicity of the self-constituted Apo- 
stle (so he desires his Galatian disciples to believe) 
had been foiled. 




In no place can this man exist, but to exercise hosti- 
lity or provoke it : with no man can he hold inter- 
course, without acting towards him, if not in the cha- 
racter of a despot, in that either of an open and auda- 
cious, or in that of a secret adversary, or both. Against 
Peter, at Jerusalem, in his Deputation visit, he is in- 
triguing, while he is bargaining with him. With the 
same Peter, when arrived at Antioch, he quarrels: for, 
at Antioch, Peter was but a visiter — ^a stranger ; Paul, 
with Barnabas for his constant supporter, was on his 
own ground: no betrayed rulers there to fear — no per- 
secuted Christians. Hequarrels — so he himself informs 
his Galatians — he quarrels with the chief of the Apo- 
stles: he ** withstands him to his face." Why .^ because, 
forsooth, "he was to be blamed." In conclusion, to such 
a pitch, — by the degree of success, whatever it was, 
which by this time he had experienced, — to such a pitch 
of intemperance, had his mind swelled — he quarrels 
even with Barnabas: with Barnabas — in all his three 
antecedent visits to Jerusalem, his munificent protec- 
tor, and steady adherent: with that Barnabas, in whose 
company, and underwhose wing, one of his missionary 
excursions had already been performed *. 

• Acts xi. 19—27 j also Ibid. xv. 2, 37—40. 

^. 2. PatU agaifist Peter and Barnabas. 197 

* At Antioch, the number of his competitors could not 
but be considerable: atAntioch, the number of years, 
which he appears to have passed in that city, consider- 
edy — ^the number of his enemies could not be small. 
He accordingly plans, and executes, a new missionary 
excursion. He stands now upon his own legs : no Bar- 
nabas now, — ^no necessary protector, to share with him 
in his glory: to share with him, in equal or superior 
proportion, in the profit of his profession: in that profit, 
the image of which, in all its shapes, was flitting before 
his eyes^ — and which we shall accordingly see him ga- 
thering in, in such unequalled exuberance. He now 
looks out for a humble companion — an assistant : he 
finds one in Silas: that Silas, whom, with Judus Bar- 
sabas, we have seen come to Antioch, deputed by the 
Apostles and their disciples, to conclude, in that second 
metropolis, the negotiation, commenced in the first 
metropolis of the new Christian world. Deserter from 
the service in which he was sent, Silas enlists in that 
of the daring and indefatigable adventurer. Thus 
much, and no more, do we learn concerning him : for, 
in the picture drawn in the Acts, no character is given 
to him, except the being found in company with 
P&ul, in some of the places which Paul visits : except 
this exercise of the loco-motive faculty, nothing is 
there to distinguish him from the common stock of 

From this fourth recorded epoch in the intercourse 
between Paul and the Apostles, we now pass to that 
which stands fi£th and last, to wit : that which was 
produced by his fourth and last visit to Jenisalem : — 
his Invasion Visii^ a.d. 62. 

In the interval, come four years, — occupied by a se- 
ries of successive excursions and sojournments, — in 
the course of which, all mention of Silas is dropt, 
without remark : dropt, in the same obscure and in- 
explicit mamier, in which the historian affords to the 
reader, (supposing him endowed with the requisite de- 

198 Ch.VIII. InterviewIV, Peter visits Paui. 

gree of attention) the means of discovering, (Actsxvi. 
10) that not long after the commencement of this 
same period, the historian himself, whoever he was, 
was taken into the train of the self-constituted Apesde. 
To the reader is also left the faculty, of amusing him^* 
self in conjecturing, about what time, and in what 
manner, this latter event may have taken place; an 
event, from which such important consequences have 

Of these portions of FauFs life, some view will come 
to be taken, in a succeeding chapter, under another 
head : — ^under the head of Paul's supposed miracles: 
for, it is in the account given of his achievements and 
adventures, and of the transactions in which, in the 
course of this period, he was engaged,^t is in the 
course of this account^ that we shall have to pick up, 
the supposed accounts of supposed miracles, which^ 
ifi this part of the Acts history lie interspersed. This 
review must of necessity be taken, for the purpose of 
placing in a true light, the evidence, supposed to be 
thus afforded, in support of his clums to a supernatu- 
ral commission* 

To this change of connexion on the part of Silas,<~ 
from the service of the Apostles of Jesus to that of the 
self-constituted Apostle,*^the character of defeciionon 
the part of Silas, — seduction on the part of Paul,-— 
may here be ascribed without difficulty. By the Apo- 
stles, one Gospel was preached — ^the Uospel of Jesus: 
— ^we see it in the Evangelists. By Paul, another and 
different Gospel was preached : — a Gospel, later and 
better, accormng toliim,than that which is. to be seen 
in the Evangelists : — a Gospel of his own. If, even 
down to this time, mutual prudence prevented an open 
and generally conspicuous rupture, — there was on his 
part, at any rate, an opposition. If, to men, whoso 
conduct and temper were such as they uniformlyappear 
to have been,^— any such word as parly can, without 
disparagement, be applied, here were two parties. He, 

^.3, PartUian'Treaty, 8fc. reviewed. 199 

who wdLsJbr the self-constituted Apostle, was against 
the Apostles of Jesus. In a word» in the language of 
modem party, Silas was a rai. 

SECrnON 3. 


In regard to the Partition Treaty, — taking the matter 
from Paul's first, or Reconciliation Visit, a.d. 35, to 
his departure from Antioch, on his missionary excur- 
sion, after the interview he had had at that city with 
Peter, — the state of the affairs, between Paul and the 
Apostles, seems to have been thus : — 

1. On the occasion, and at the time, of his first 
Jerusalem Visit — his Reconciliation Visit — a sort of 
reconciliation — meaning at least an outward one — 
could not,— consistently with the whole train, of what 
is said of his subsequent intercourse and interviews 
with the Apostles, — could not but have taken place. 

2. Of this reconciliation, the terms were — that, on 
condition of his preaching in the name of Jesus, — they 
would not, to such persons in Jerusalem and else- 
where, as were in connexion with them, — speak of him 
any longer in the character of a persecutor : (for, by his 
disobedience and breach of trust, as towards the Je- 
rusalem constituted authorities, — such hehad put itout 
of his power to be any longer :) not speak of him as a 
persecutor, but, on the contrary, as an associate : — he 
taking up the name of Jesus ; and preaching — ^never 
in his own, but on every occasion in that holy, name. 

3. On this occasion, — it being manifest to both 
parties, that^ by his intimate acquaintance with the 
Greek language^ and with the learning belonging to 
that language, he was in a peculiar degree well quali- 
fied to spread the name of Jesus among the Gentiles 

800 Ch. VIII. Interview IV. Peter visits Paul. 

in general; — that is, among those to whom the Jewish 
was not a vernacular language ;— whereas their ac- 
quaintance with language was confined to their own, 
to wit, the Jewish language; — on this occasion, it fol- 
lowed of course, from the nature of the case, and al- 
most without need of stipulation, that, — leaving to 
them^ for the field of their labours, Jerusalem, and 
that part of the circumjacent country, in which the 
Jewish alone was the language of the bulk of the po- 
pulation, — he should confine his exertions, principally 
if not exclusively, to those countries, of which Greek 
was, or at any rate Hebrew was not, the vernacular lan- 
guage, ^ 

To him, at that time, it was not in the nature of 
the case, that absentation from Jerusalem, or any part 
of the country under the same dominion, should be 
matter of regret. Within that circle, he could not, 
for any length of time, abide publicly, for fear of the 
legal vengeance of the constituted authorities : nor yet 
among the Christians ; although from their chiefs he 
had obtained, as above, a sort of prudential endurance; 
considering the horror, which his persecution of them 
had inspired, and the terror, with which, until his con- 
version had been proved in the eyes of all by experi- 
ence, he could not as yet fail to be regarded. 

Whatever was the object of his concupiscence, — 
whether it were the fund — and we have seen how at- 
tractive the bait was — which, at that time, in that me- 
tropolis of the Christian world, offered itself to an am- 
bitious eye, — still, though his opportunities had as yet 
confined his exertions to the secmid city in that in- 
creasing World, his eyes never ceased looking to the 

Twice, accordingly, between the first of his Visits, 
— his Reconciliation Visit — and this his last inter- 
view with Peter, — we see him visiting that inviting 
spot : each time, protected and escorted by the mu- 

* ^.4. The Apostles justified. 201 

nificent Barnabas and his influence — to make him en- 
durable: each time with a public commission — to 
make him respected: — the first time with money in his 
band — to make him welcome. 

That) all this while, neither ^oody^fM nor prudence 
were capable of opposing to the violence of his ambi- 
tion, any eflfectual check, — ^is abundantly manifest. 

That good faith was not, we learn distinctly from 
himself. For though, from the very nature of the 
two correlative situations, it is out of all question, as 
above, that, without some agreement to the effect 
above mentioned, he could not, even with the benefit 
of every possible means of concealment, have been 
preserved for two days together from the vengeance 
which pressed upon him, from below as well as from 
above ; yet still was he, by his secret intrigues*, vio- 
lating the treaty, at the expense of those upright, pa- 
tient, and long-suiOFering men, to whose observance of 
it, he was every day indebted for his life. 



Of the financial stipulation, the account we have has 
been seen : — an account given by one of the parties to 
it — ^Paul : — the other party being — the Apostles. In 
the instance of Paul, in the demonstration, supposed 
to be given of it, the worldliness, of the motives which 
gave birth to it, has in a manner been taken for 
granted. Well, then, if in the one instance such was 
the character of it, — in the other instance, can it have 

* Viz. by his address to Iilii Galatians^ Gul. i. ii. 

202 Ch. VIII. Interview IV. Peier visits Paul. 

been any other ? The question is a natural one ; but 
not less so is the answer. For note^ the stipulation 
is express — that, by Paul — by P&ul out of the profits 
of his vocation — the poor, meaning the poor of Je^ 
rusalem — ^the poor amongpthe disciples of the Apostles 
— should be remembered. Remembered, and how? 
Remembered, by payment of the moneys — into the 
hands, either of the Apostles themselves, or, what 
comes to the same thing, some other persons, in con- 
nexion with them, and acting under their influence. 
Now, then, once more. Of the man, by whom the 
money was to be paid — of this man, the motives (you 
say) were worldly: is it credible then, that they should 
have been less so, in the instance of the men by whom 
they were to be received? 

Answer. Oh ! yes, that it is. Between the two 
cases, there is this broad difference. Whatever PSaul 
might receive, he would receive for himself: what- 
ever, after payment made, under the treaty, to the use 
of the Jerusalem poor, he retained, — he might retain 
for his own use. 6ut the Apostles — that which, if any 
thing, they received, in the name of the poor, and as 
for the use of that same poor, — would they — could 
they, for their own use, retain it, or any part of it ? 
Not they, indeed. Not in their hands were the poor's 
funds : not in theirs, but in a very different set of 
hands : — in the hands of a set of trustees— of the 
trustees already mentioned in this work* — of those ad- 
ministrators, whose function, to every reader who has 
not the Greek original in view, is so unfortunately 
disguised by the word Deacons. And these deacons, 
by whom appointed ? By the Apostles ? No ; but, by 
the whole communion of the saints — ^by the whole 
number of the members of the Christian common* 
wealth;— and in the way of free election, — election, on 

♦ Supra. Ch.ll. §. I. 

^4. Xke AposOes justified. 203 

the principle of universal sM^age. Monarchists and 
Aristocrats ! mark well ! — tif universal suffrage. 

As to the use, made bv Paul, of fus share of the con- 
tributions of the faithful, indications of it are not to be 
found wanting ; by any one, whose curiosity will lead 
him to them, and his patience convey him through 
them, — they may be seen in abundance in the Ap« 

So much for the treaty itself. Now, as to the sub- 
sequent conduct of the parties, under it, and in rela* 
tion to it. As to the partition — ^Paul to the Gentiles, 
Peter and his associates to the Jews — ^such was the 
letter of it. Such being the letter — what, at the same 
time, was the spirit of it ? Manifestly this : on the 
one hand, that the field, to which PauFs exertions 
should apply themselves, and confine themselves, should 
be that field, for the cultivation of which, with any pro-- 
spect of success, he was exclusively qualified : on the 
other handy that the field, to which their exertions 
should [apply themselves and confine themselves, 
should be that, for the cultivation of which, they were 
— ^if not exclusively, at any rate more peculiarly, qua-» 
lified. In a word — that, of all that portion of the world, 
that presented itself as open to the exertions, of those 
who preached in the name of Jesus, — they should re- 
serve to themselves that part which was already in their 
possession, to wit, Jerusalem, and its near neighbour-^ 
hood, together with such parts of Judea, and its neigh* 
bourhood, of which their own language, the Hebrew, 
was the vernacular langus^e : this minute portion of 
the world reserved, all the rest was to be left open to 
him: over every odier part of it he was to be at liberty 
to cast forth his shoe. Judea— the country of the 
Jews ? say, rather, the Jews themselves :-*-the Jews 

• Appendix, Paul*8 Inducements, Ch. I. II. III. 

204 Ch. VIII. Interview IV. Peter visits Paul. 

wherever found: for, revelation apart, it was in fow- 
guage^ that Paul's pretensions — his exclusive qualifi- 
cations—consisted. The Apostles spoke nothing but 
Hebrew: Paul was learned, and eloquent, in a certain 
sort, in Greek. 

In regard to the interpretation to be put upon this 
treaty, — suppose any doubt to have place, — in the 
word Gentile^ would obviously the seat and source 
of it be to be found. Suppose, on the one hand, 
persons to be the objects, of which it was meant to 
be designative, — then, let there be but so much as one 
single uncircumcised man in Jerusalem, or elsewhere, 
— to whom, in the view of gaining him over to their 
communion, the Apostles, or, with their cognizance, 
any of their disciples, addressed themselves, — here 
would, on their part, be a breach of the treaty. Sup- 
pose, on the other hand, places to be the objects, of 
which it was meant to be designative, — on that sup- 
position, within that tract of country, vtdithin which 
alone, the necessary means, of communicating with 
the bulk of the population, were in their possession, — 
they might apply themselves, to all persons without re- 
striction : and this, still without any real breach of the 
agreement— of the spirit and real import of the agree- 

In respect either of persons or places^ by the 
agreement, according to this — ^the obvious sense of 
it — what was it that Paul gave up? In truth, just no- 
thing. Had his mind been in a sober state, — strange 
indeed, if the field, thus afforded by the whole heathen 
world, was not wide enough for his labour: in all 
parts of it he could not be at once ; and the most 
promising parts were open to his choice. Cessation 
of Paul's hostilities excepted, what was it that the Apo- 
stles gained ? Not much more. 

As already observed — what was not gained by it. 

^4. The Apostles justified. 205 

is tirhat is above : what was really gained by it, is 
what follows. 

What Paul gained was — exemption from the .an- 
noyance, which otherwise he would every where have 
been exposed to have received, by being designated 
as the quondam notorious persecutor, and still unre- 
conciled enemy, of the Apostles and their disciples: 
— in a word, of all others who preached in the name 
of Jesus. 

That which the Apostles actually gained, was— « 
that confirmation and extension of their influence, 
which followed of course, upon every extension, re- 
ceived by that field, within which the influence of the 
name of Jesus was extended. 

That which, besides what is above, they ottght to 
have gained, but did not gain, is— exemption from 
all such annoyance, as could not but be inflicted on 
them, in proportion as Paul, preaching to persons, to 
whom they had access, a Gospel which was his, and 
not theirs, — ^should, while in pretence and name an 
associate, be, in truth and effect, an adversary and 

This is what — though they not only should have 
guned, but might also reasonably have expected to 
{:^in— -they did not gain. For, not to insist any 
more on his secret intrigues in Jerusalem itself, and 
his open opposition in the second Jerusalem, An- 
tioch, as above*; we shall — when we come to the 
next and last of his interviews with the Apostles on 
the occasion of his Invasion Visit — see, to what 
lengths the madness of his Ambition carried him, in 
that birth-place and metropolis of the Christian world. 
By the. sort of connection, which, notwithstanding 
such obvious and naturally powerful principles of dis- 
crimination, have on each occasion, been visible, as 

*§. 1. 

206 Ch. VIII. Interview IV. Peter visits Paul. 

between the undoubted Apostles, and this self-styled 
one, — three distinguishable questions cannot but, bom 
time to time, have been presenting themselves : — 
1. The sort of countenance — partial, cold, and 
guarded as it was — shown by the old establishei and 
soodly fellowship to the ever-intruding individual — 
IS it credible ? 2. Can it, in fact, have been mani- 
fested, in conjunction with a disbelief, on their part, 
of his pretensions to a degree of supernatural favour 
with the Almighty, equal or superior to their own ? 
3* And, if not only possible, but actual — was it, in 
point of morality, justifiable ? 

By a few obvious enough considerations^ an an- 
swer, — and, it is hoped, a not altogether unsatisfac- 
tory one, — ^may be given to all these questions. 

As to whatever was natural in the course of the 
events, Barnabas was necessary to the rising Church : 
and Pbul was, all along, necessary, or, at least, was 
so thought, to Barnabas* 

1 . Barnabas was necessary to the Church. Already, 
it has been seen, how pre-eminent was the support 
received by it from his munificence. In him, it had 
found at once the most liberal of benefactors, and, 
unless Peter be an exception, the most indefatigable of 
agents. On the part of no one of even the chosen 
servants of Jesus, do proofs of equal zeal and activi^ 
present themselves to our view. 

In an ensuing chapter, we shall see Peter trying 
his strength among the Gentiles. Yet, from the di- 
rection thus given to his Apostolic zeal, no violation 
of the treaty, it will be seen, can with justice be im- 
puted to him, if the interpretation above given to the 
word Gentiles be correct. 

1 . In the first place, — according to the Acts, the 
date of this excursion is antecedent to that Mirdf inter- 
view, which took place on the occasion of PauFs third 
Jerusalem Visit — his Deputation Visit: that is to say. 

^•4. The Apostles justified. 207 

to the time, at which, and not before, (though, if the 
above reasoning be just, in a sort of general terms 
the preliminaries had been agreed upon) the general 
preliminary arrangements were followed, confirmed^ 
explained, and liquidated, by more particular ones. 

2. In the next place,— of all the places, — which, in 
the course of this excursion of Peter's, are mentioned 
as having been visited by him, — there is not one, that 
Paul is mentioned as having ever visited : wh^eas, in 
the first of them that is mentioned, the Apostles are | 
mentioned as having already a band of disciples*^. j 

3. In the third place, — the date, assigned to this 

excursion of Peter's, is, by several years, antecedent i 

even to the first, of the several excursions of Paul's^ of 
which mention is made in the Acts. In the received 
chronology-— date assigned to the commencement of 
Peter's excursion, a.d. 35 ; date assigned to Paul's first 
excursion, a.d. 45. 

While Peter was thus occupying himself, Paul was 
still at Tarsus-f- : at Tarsus — his own birthplace — 
whereto, — ^in consequence of the danger, to which his 
life had been exposed by his first Jerusalem Visit, his 
Reconciliation Visit, — he had taken his flight:};. 

4. In the fourth place, — notwithstanding the perpe* 
tual hostility of Paul's mind, as towards Peter and the 
rest of the Apostles,— -on no occasion, on the score of 
any breach of this article in the partition treaty, is any 
complaint, on the part of Paul, to be found. When 
dissatisfaction is expressed, doctrine alone is men* 

■ ■ ' I ■ ■ ■ r -.t II. ■ ■ I ■ „ . ■ . I . ■^. . I ,1.. 

* Acte IX. 32. '' And it oome to ^ass, as Peter passed through 
'^ aU qiiarter9> he came down aiso to the saints which dwelt at 
" Lydda." 

t Acts xi. 25. '' Then departed Barnabas for to seek Saul." 

} Acts 4X. 30. '' Which when the brethren knew, they brought 
*' lum down \% Cesarea and sent hiqi forth to Tarsus/* 

208 Ch. Vni. Interview IV. Peier visits Paul. 

tioned by him as the source of it : doctrine, the os* 
tensible ; dominion, the original and real source. 

Spite of the treaty, — spite of the manifest interest, 
of the only genuine religion of Jesus — ^the Gospel 
taught by the Apostles, — still, in places to which they 
had access — in places in which, in consequence, they 
had formed connections, — ^he persisted in intruding 
himself: intruding himself, with that Gospel which 
(he says himself) was his, not theirs — and not being 
theirs, was not Jesus^s: — intruding himself, in places, 
in which, even had his Gospel been Jesus's, /^r con- 
nections being established, there existed no demand 
for him and his. Can this be doubted of ? If yes, all 
doubt will at any rate be removed, when, — ^spite of all 
the endeavours that could be employed, either by them 
or by his own adherents, to prevail upon him to desist, 
— we shall see him entering Jerusalem on his Invasion 
Visit: as if, while, for preaching the religion of Jesus, 
all the world, with the exception of the Jewish part of 
it, was not enough for this intruder, — the Apostles of 
Jesus — eleven in number, with their elected associate* 
—were not, all together, enough for that small part of it. 

The name he preached in, that indeed not his own, 
but Jesus's : but the doctrine he preached — the Go- 
spel, as he called it^— not Jesus^s, nor any body else's, 
but his own. All this, as he has the assurance to declare, 
— all this did he preach without their knowledge. 
And why without their knowledge? because, as he 
himself has the still more extraordinary assurance 
to declare — for confession is the result not of assu- 
rance, but weakness — because, as he himself acknow- 
ledges, — if so it had been, that this Gospel of his had 
come to the knowledge of the Apostles — of those asso- 
ciates, to whom he was all along holding out the right 

* Matthias. 

§. 4- The Aposlles justified. 209 

luind of fellowship, this Gospel of his could not have 
been listened to— this preaching of his would have 
been in vun. 

Already, however— ^fbr in this he ihay be Relieved — 
already, throughout ik\\% first intercourse (though the 
expression is not used till he came to speak of the 
ifwrd) — already must the right band of fellowship 
have be6n held out, and on both sides : and (what 
followed of course,^^and was not only affirmed by his 
statement, but demonstrated by the result,) — on this 
last occasion was the trieaty again brought upon the 
carpet and confirmed, after such modifications as it 
may naturally have received, from the consideration 
of intervening incidents. 

( 210 ) 


Paul disbelieved continued — The Fourth and Last 
Jerusalem Visit. The Purpose concealed: Op- 
position univei9ial ; among his own Disciples, and 
among those of the Apostles. 



Of this momentous visit to say what were the real 
objects, must in a great part be left to conjecture: — ^to 
inferences drawn from the known circumstances of 
the case. By himself, as will be seen, they were con- 
cealed with the most persevering anxiety. 

But, in default of direct evidence, the point may 
without much danger of error be settled by circum* 
stantial evidence. The common objects of political 
concupiscence — money, power and vengeance — were 
all before his eyes : money — in no less a quantity than 
that of the aggregate mass of the property of the 
whole church : — that fund, for the management of 
which, the Apostles* seven trustees, under the name 
of Deacons*, were not more than sufficient: — that 
fund, by which the repulsed concupiscence of the sor- 
cerer of Samaria had so lately been excited : — power, 
that which was exercised by the direction of the con- 
sciences of the whole number of the faithful, some 
time before this, not less in number than three thou- 
sand : vengeance, for the repeated rebuffs, by which. 

* See above^ Chapter ii. §. 1. 

^.2. Announcement and Delay. 211 

hi the interval of so many years from each other, \m 
endeavours to supplant the Apostles had been re* 

In a general point of vieilr, ambition,— ^rival ambi- 
tion, — the same motive which sent Caesar to Rome, 
may be stated as having sent P&ul, at this time, to Je- 
rusalem : to Jerusalem— the metropolis of the'Chri* 
stian world, by design ; and thence, eventually and 
undesignedly, to the metropolis of the whole civilised 

By two opposite desires--two antagonizing but cor* 
respondent and mutually explanatory desires— desires, 
in both parts intense and active, the external marks 
of which are sufficiently visible in two difierent 
quarters, — the nature as well as prevalence of this mo<» 
tive, will, it is believed, be found sufficiently proved : 
— a desire, in the breast of the self-constituted Apo* 
Btle,^ to establish himself in the original metropolis of 
the Christian world :-*-a desire on the part of the Apo* 
Btles-*^of the Apostles constituted by Jesus—*to keep 
him out of it« 



Ephbsus, at which place he had arrived^ not long after 
hb departure from Corinth, where he had made a 
stay, as it should seem, of more years than one*, 
touching in the way at Cenchrea, where he shaved his 
head for the performance of a vow-^Ephesus is the 
place, at which, by the author of the Acts, Paul is for 

B 1%, ., I l A |i« ». I ■ ■■■ ■ ■ • ■■■■. I .»»■■>■, .■■ ■ ' .. ^ . .^ii. Al l .. , ^ 

* Acts xviii. 11. "He continued there (at Corinth) a year and 

" 4ix month*. 18. And Paul tarried [there] yet a good while, 

" and then took his leave.*' 

p 8 

212 Ch. IX» Interview Y. Visit IV. Invasion 4 

the first time made to speak of himself, as harbouring^ 
having in mind the making of this visit : and on that 
occasion, the visit is spoken of, as being the sub<» 
ject of a settled determination, and in particular as 
being the time fixed upon by him for the execution of 
this design*. ** When they (the Jews at Ephesus) 
** desired (him) to tarry longer with them, he con- 
'^ sented not ; but*bade them farewell, saying, 1 must 
" by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jeru- 
** salem : but I will return again to you if God will.** 

As to keeping of this or any other feast, at Jerusa- 
lem or any other place, — ^if it was under any such no- 
tion, as that of contributing to his own personal salva- 
tion by any such Mosaic work, it was an object incon- 
sistent with his own principles — with his own so re- 
peatedly and strenuously advocated principles : — and 
the like may be said of the head-shaving and the vow, 
performed by him, at Cenchrea, in his way to Ephesus 
from Corinth : and moreover, in this last-mentioned 
instance, more particularly in contradiction with a pre- 
cept so positively delivered by Jesus, namely, Swear 
not at ally — if, under swearing, the making of vows 
is to be understood to be included. 

Of this design, the next intimation which occurs 
in the Acts, is in the next chapter "f*. '* When these 
" things were ended,** namely, the discomfiture of the 
exorcists, and the burning of the'books of curious arts 
at Ephesus), — " Paul (it is said) purposes in the spi- 
** rity when he had passed through Macedonia and 
^^ Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying. After I have 
** been there, I must also see Rome.*' 

Fortunate it is for the credit— -either of ike spirit, 
or of Paul, or of the author of the Acts, that it was on 
this second occasion only, and not on the first, that 

* Acts xviii. 20, 2 1 . f Acts xix. 2 1 . 


^.2. Announcemem and Delay. 213 

It was in the spirit that he proposed to go to Jerusa- 
lem by the then next feast : for, notwithstanding the 

must ^ and the " by all means^ — so it is, that be- 
tween those his two determinations as above, no less 
a space of time than two years is stated as elapsing, on 
one occasion, at one and the same place*. And this 
place — what was )t ? it was Ephesus: the same place, 
at which, on his departure from it, the first determi* 
nation was declared : after which, and before this his 
second visit to Ephesus, — ^he is represented as having 
visited Caesarea and Antioch. 

The next mention, is that which occurs in the next 
chapter, chapter xx. 16. "Paul" (we are there told) 
(being then at Miletus) " had determined to sail by 
" Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in 
" Asia : for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to 
" be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.'* 

At Miletus it is, that he sends for, and receives, 
from Ephesus, a number of his adherents in that 
place. Upon their arrival, he is reprosented as mak- 
ing a formal speech to them : and now, he not merely 
proposes in the spirit, as before, but is ^< bound in the 
spirity^ to go thither-f*. Vain would be the attempt 
to ascertain, with any approach to exactness, the in- 
terval of time, during which the operation of the spi- 
rit remained in a sort of suspense betweea purpose 
and obligation : it may have been months, only : it 
may have been years. 

While, by one spirit, Paul was thus urged on, 
every now and then, towards Jerusalem ; — by the same 
spirit, or by another spirit, he was pulled back \. 

* Acts xix. 10. *' And this continued by the space of two yeart ; 
" so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord 
*' Jesus», both Jews and Greeks." 

t Acts XX. 22. ** And now^ behold^ I go bound in the spirit un- 
*' to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there.** 

X Acts XX. 23. " Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in ^very 
" city^ sayings that bonds and afflictions abide me.'* 

214 Ch. IX. JntfnuewV. FUitW. Invasion. 

In the very next verse (Acts xx. 22), in which ha 
speaks of his being " bound in the spirit unto'* that 
place, not knowing (as, in bis speech, he there-r 
upon adds) — '^ not knowing the things that shall be** 
" fall me there," — he goes on, and says : " Save that 
•' the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, 
'* that bonds and afflictions abide roe. But none 
" of these things" (says he, ver. 24,) " move me, 
** neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I 
'^ might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, 
" which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify 
•* the Gospel of the grace of God." 

To raise, in the breast of Paul, the expectation, 
that of his proceeding in the course it was his way to 
take in preaching that religion, to which, from a per« 
secutor, he had, in appearance, become a convert, af« 
fliction, in a variety of shapes, might prove to be the 
fruits,*— needed no information from the spirit; if, by 
receiving information from the spirit, he meant any 
communication of a supernatural kind — ^any thing 
beyond information in the ordinary shape ; — be the 
effect— be the purpose, good or bad, — such is the lot, 
that awaits innovation in the field of politics — the 
spiritual part included, as well as the temporal— -at 
all places, and all times. 

A passage, which now presents itself, helps to show 
how easily and copiously, out of a few words, written 
in antient times, mysteries and miracles have been 
manufactured in modern times. In ch. xx. ver. 22, we 
have seen Paul, ^' bound in the spirit^' (as he is made 
to assure us,) to go unto Jerusalem. In the next 
chapter (xxi.), ver. 4, we find disciples, • • .who said 
to Paul, " through the^ spirit y"* that he should not 
go up to Jerusalem. Oh ! what a useful word this 
word spirit ! Let a man say plainly and simply, I shall 
go, or be going, to Jerusalem — or. Don't go to Je- 
rusalem, — his words go for no more than they are 

^. 2. Anrumneement and Delay* 215 

worth : in either case, with a proper proposition to 
introduce it, ^dd the word ^ spirit/ the matter be- 
comes serious. Out of a word or two, you thus add 
to the Godhead a third person, who talks backward 
and forward for you, and does for you whatever you 

At so small a price, even to this day, are manufac- 
tured, every day, a sort of verbal miracles, which, as 
many as are disposed, are welcome to improve into 
real ones. 

To reconcile men to this expedition of PbuFs, the 
spirit was the more necessary, — inasmuch as it waa not 
in his own power, or even in that of any one of his 
numerous attendants and dependants, to assign so 
much as one ostensible reason for it. 

That, to the advancement of religion-— of the 
religion of Jesus — no such presence of his was ne- 
cessary; — ^that no good could result from it; — ^that 
much evil could not but result from it ; — ^was obvious 
to all eyes. Of the original number of the Apostles, 
-^for aught that appears, not less than eleven were 
still remaining on the spot: men, to every one of 
whom, all acts and sayings of Jesus were, by memory, 
rendered so familiar : — men, on the part of some of 
whom, and, at any rate, on the part of the chief of 
them, Peter, — there wah no want of zeal and activity. 
While to these men a single city, or, at the utmost, 
one small region— composed the whole field of exer- 
tion, — the whole earth besides is left open by them 
to Paul : still, such is the ravenousness of his ambi- 
tion, nothing can content him, but he must be in^ 
trading himself — thrusting his restless sickle into their 
ripening harvest. 

216 Ch.IX. IfUervietvV. risiilV. Invasion, 


All this — is it not yet enough ? Well then, take thb 
one other — this concluding proof. In the teeth of all 
their endeavours (and among them, some that will 
he seen extraordinary enough) to prevent it, — ^was un<r 
dertaken the fourth and last of his four recorded visits 
to their residence — Jerusalem. 

But, in the first place, in the utter indefensibility 
of the design, shall be shown the cause, of the oppo- 
sition so universally made to it. « 

Tired of a mixture of successes and miscarriages, — 
disdaining the conquests he had been making in so 
many remote, and comparatively obscure regions of 
the world, — he had formed — but at^hat precise time, 
the documents do not enable us to pronounce — 
the determination, to exhibit his glories on the two 
most illustrious of theatres: — in the two capitals — Je* 
Tusalem, of the Jewish, and now of the Christian 
vi^orld ; Rome, of the whole classical heathen world : — 
^nd in the first place, Jerusalem, now, for the fourth 
time since his conversion. It was at Ephesus, as we 
have seen, this determination was first declared. 

To Rome, he might have gone, and welcome: 
i^amely, in so far as bis doctrines could have confined 
themselves within the limits of those of Jesus: which, 
however, it will be seen, they could not : but, success 
being moreover supposed, nothing but good could such 
yisit have had for its result. 

But, by ft visit to any place other than Jerusalem, 
various were the points of spleen and ambition, that 
could not have been satisfied. Nothing would serve 
him, but, over that Edom Jerusalem, he would, in 
(he first place, cast forth his shoe, 

^. 3. The Design indefensible. 217 

Unless the eleven most confidential servants, select- 
ed by Jesus himself to be the propagators of his re- 
ligion, were altogether unworthy of the task thus al- 
lotted to them, — nothing to the good purposes of that 
religion could be more palpably unnecessary, nothing 
to the purposes of peace and unity more pernicious, 
than the intrusion thus resolved upon. That the 
number of these legitimately instituted Apostles had 
as yet suffered any diniinution, is not, by any of the 
documents, rendered so much as probable. Neither 
in the works of Paul himself, nor in that of his histo* 
riographer, is any intimation to any such effect to be 
found. In their own judgments, had there been any 
need of coadjutors — any deficiency of hands for the 
spiritual harvest, — they well knew how to supply it. 
Of the sufficiency of such knowledge, they had given 
the most incontestable proofs : the election of Mat- 
thias was the fruit of it. They showed — and with a 
disinterestedness, which has never since had, nor 
seems destined to have, any imitators — ^that, in the 
Christian world, if government in any shape has di- 
vine right for its support, it is in the shape of demo- 
cracy ; — ^representative democracy — operating by uni- 
versal suffrage. In the eye of the Christian, as well 
as of the philosopher and the philanthropist, behold 
here the only legitimate government: the form, the 
exclusion of which froni the Christian world, has been 
the object of that league, by which, by an unpunish- 
able, yet the rnost mischievous — if not the only mis- 
chievous — sort of blasphemy, the name of Christian 
has been profaned. 

This method of filling offices, was no more to the 
taste of P&ul, than to that of a Napoleon or a George. 
He determined to open their eyes, and prove to them 
by experience, that monarchy, — himself the first mo- 
parch — was the only legitimate form of government. 

218 Ch. IX. Interview W. VisUlW. Invasion. 

The difficulties o{ the enterprise were sudi as could 
not escape any eyes :— least of all his own : but to die 
or conquer was his resolve : so he himself declares *• 
What, in case of success, would have been the use 
made by him of it ? The fate of the Apostles may be 
read in the catastrophe of Saint Stephen : the vulgar 
herd would, in his eyes, have been as declaredly fooluh 
as the Galatians. Gal. iii. 1. ''O foolish Galatiansr 

The invasion was not less inconsistent with good 
faith, than with brotherly love, peace and unity. It 
was a direct violation of the partition-treaiy : that 
treaty, of which he gives such unquestionable evidence 
against himself, in the boast he makes of it to his 
Galatians. Gal. ii. 9. ''When James, Cephas (Peter), 
** and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the 
** grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and 
'' Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we 
'' [should go] unto tha heathen, and they unto tb^ 
" circumcision.*" 



To find so much as the colour of a reason for this 
perfidy, was too much for the ingenuity of his atten^ 
dant panegyrist. In the eyes of the whole body of 

* Acts XX. 24. '* But none of these things move me^ neitiier 
" count I my life dear unto myself, so tliat I might finish nay coune 
" with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord 
*' Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.'* 

Acts xxi. 13. " Then Paul answered. What mean ye to weep 
** and to break my heart > for I am ready not to be bound only, but 
** also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.*' 

§. 4. Opposition by PauPs Adherents. 219 

his attendants, of whom the historian was one, so 
completely unjustifiable was his design in every point 
of view, — they joined in a remonstrance to him, be- 
seeching him to give it up *, 

ACTS XXI. 12 to 14. 
IS. And when we heard thete things, both we, and ther of that plaoe, be» 
^u|^t him not to go up to Jerusalem.— IS. Then Paul answered. What 
?nean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound 
only, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesua.— • 
14. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, faying. The will of 
the Lord be done. 

At no such loss, however, was Paul himself: for 
this, and for every thing else it was his will to do, he 
had a reason ready made. It was no less concise and 
economical than convenient : a word, and no more 
than a word, was the price paid for it: — revelation was 
tliat word'f'. So he assures his ^' foolish" Galatians ; 
and if they were foolish enough to believe it, these, 
though first, have not been last, in tbe career of 

Allow a man but the use of this one word, so it be 
in the sense in which Paul here uses it — admit the 
matter of fact, of which it contains the assertion,-^the 
will of that man is not only sufficient reason, but suf- 
ficient law, for every thing : in all places, and to all 
persons, his will is law. The will of this man is the 
will of that God, by whom this revelation of it has 
been made to him : the will of God, what man shall 
be audacious enough to dispute p 

"^ Actsxxi. 12. *' And when he heard these things/* (the alarm, 
(of which presently) produced, in the Church at Jerusalem, by the 
report of hia intended visit,) ** both W9> and they of that place," 
(Caesarea, at which place he had anived, on his way from Miletus, 
where (Acts xx. 17) this determination of his was nrst announced) 
*' brought him '* (weeping, y. 13.) '* not to go up to Jerusalem.'* 

t Gd.ii. 2. " I went up by revelation** (aroxaAu^''^). 

220 Ch. IX. Inte^nnewV. ristilV. InvasUm. 

Tlie motives, which gave birth to this act of perfidy 
and hostility, will now be visible enough, to every eye, 
that dares to open itself to th^m. At the time in ques- 
tion, they were too manifest to need mentioning: 
and at the same time too unjustifiable, to bear to be 
mentioned by his dependent historian, when speaking 
of the opposition, which, even on the part of his own 
dependents, it produced. They besought him — ^with 
tears they besDught him : but, as to the reflections by 
which these tears were produced, they could not bear 
the light: it was not for a declared adherent to give 
them utterance. The sort of colour, put upon the pro- 
ject by Paul, with the help of one of his phrases — this 
was the only colour that could be found for it. It was 
for the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts xxi. 13) that be 
was ready — ** ready, not to be bound only, but also to 
die.** For the name .^ O yes, forthe name at all times; 
for, in the name of Jesus, he beheld from first to last 
his necessary support : aiiU of the Lord Jesus, nothing, 
as we shall find,— nothing from first to last, did he ever 
employ but the name. But, to be bound at Jerusalem 
— to die at Jerusalem — to be bound — to die — suppos- 
ing this to take place, — where — to the religion of Je- 
sus — would be, where could be, the use of it ? There, 
at Jerusalem, the Apostles-^the real Apostles of Jesus: 
—executing, without either dying or being bound for 
it, the commission, which to them had been reallv 
given by Jesus. 



Thus indefensible and deplorable, in the eyes even oT 
his own dependents,— it may be imagined in what light 

^. 6. Oppositiofi by the Apostles^ ifc. 22 1 

the invasion presented itself at Jerusalem, to those 
who found themselves so cruelly menaced by it. 

At the first place, at which, after a voyage of some 
length, they landed on their way to Judea, — they found 
the alarm already spread. This place was Tyre: there 
they found " disciples*. •• .who said to Paul," and 
*^ through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Je- 
**^rusaleiTi." It was through their spirit, that they 
bade him not to go ; but his revelation, as we have 
seen, bade him to go, notwithstanding : — his revela- 
tion was too strong for their spirit. If it was from the 
ZiOrd JesuSy as he all along informs us, that his re- 
velation came, while their spirit was the Holy Spirit, 
otherwise called the Holy Ghost, — already another 
schism was produi^ed: a schism, in a council still 
higher than that of the Apostles. 

At Ptolemais, on the road from Tyre to Jerusalem, 
they staid but one day ^ : not long enough, it should 
seem, for any fresh marks of opposition to this enter- 
prize to manifest themselves. 

Continuing their approach to the metropolis, the 
next day they came to Qesarea;}:. " The house,^' they 
** entered into,** was that of Philip, there styled the 
Evangelist, one of the seven trustees, who, under the 
name, rendered in the English translation by that of 
Deacon, at the recommendation of the Apostles, had 
been chosen by universal suffrage, for the manage- 
ment of the pecuniary affairs of the Church. Here 
they took up their quarters : and here a fresh scene 
awaited them. 

In the person of a man, whose name was Agabus, 
the Apostles and their associates had found, as we 
have seen §, an agent of approved talents and useful- 
ness : to him they had been indebted, for the most 

♦ Acts X3U. 4. t Ibid. xxi. /. % Ibid. xxi. 8. § Ch. t. * 

222 Ch. IX. Interview V. Visit IV. Invasion. 

important service, of a temporal nature, which the 
history of the church in those days furnishes : — ^the sup- 
ply of money already received, as above mentioned^ 
from the first-born daughterT)f the church — ^the church 
of Antioch, in Syria. At this place (Caesarea) as a 
last resobfce, this tmme Agabus, or another, was, as 
it should seem, dispatched to meet-^^t any rate did 
meet — the self-appointed Apostle in his way; and, in 
the character ol a prophet ^ (for so this Agabus is styled) 
strained ever)' nerve, in the endeavour to divert the 
invader from the so anxiously apprehended purpose. 
Whoever he was, employed on this occasion, but 
employed in vain,were all the treasures of his eloquence. 
The Holy Ghost was once more, and by name, set in 
array against PauFs Lord Jesus. The powers of ver- 
bal and oral eloquence were not thought sufficient: ac- 
tion—and not only of that sort, which, in the eyes of 
Demosthenes, was an object of such prime import-* 
ance, but even pantomime — was employed in aid ♦. 
As to argument — fear in the bosom of the Church, 
for a life so precious, was the only one, which the 
skill of the orator could permit him to employ : as to 
fear for their own sakes, and resentment for the injury 
which they were predestinated to suifer,-«these were 
passions, too strongly felt to be avowed. ^* He took 
" Paul's girdle,** (Acts xxi. 1 1) " and bound his own 
'' hands and feet, andsaid. Thus saith the Holy Ghost, 
*' So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that 
'* owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the 
" hands of the Gentiles." 

Supposing the Agabus mentioned on this occasion, 
to be the same Agabus as he who was mentioned on 
the occasion of the apprehended dearth — ^supposing 
this to be he — ^and no reason presents itself in fiavour 
of the contrary supposition — ^well known indeed must 

* Acts xxi. II. 

f 6. Oj^fwUion by the ApostUs, ifc. 223 

fae have been to Pkul, since it was by hb means diat 
Phul was indebted for the opportunity of paying, to 
Jerusalem^ that second visit of his, from which, as we 
have seen, so littie fruit' was reaped. 

The singular circumstance here is, the manner, in 
which, on this second occasion, mention is made of 
this name — ^Agabus: '* a certain prophet named Aga« 
'^ bus*.** Whether this was^ or was not, the same as 
the former Agabus, — this mode of designation pre« 
sents itself as alike extraordinary. If he was the same, 
•^n that case, as, by the addition of the adjunct ** a 
certain prophet,** a sort of cloud is thrown over his 
identity,-*-so» by so simple an expedient as that of the 
non-insertion of these redundant words, the clouds 
would have been dispelled. If he was not the same,**- 
ao expressive being the circumstances, by whidi 
identitfr stands indicated— -namely, the quarter ^mi 
whence the same ; the quarter to which the same ; 
the importance of the mission, and the demand for 
talents and influence, in both cases so great; on 
this supposition, to prevent misconception, no less 
obvious than urgent was the demand, for some mark 
of distinction, ^ be added on this second occasion: 
in a word, for that sort of mark of distinction, ndiieh, 
en other occasions^ may, in this same history, be seen 
more than onee employed : witness that Jotm^ twice 
distinguished by the name of Jokn^ whose surname 
was Mark. Acts xii. 25. xv. 37* 

Hence a suspicion, nor that an unnatural one — 
that, in this history, the part, in which the name 
Agabus occurs for the first time, and the part, in which 
that same name occurs for the second time, were not 
the work of the same hand. 

With or without the assistance of the Holy Ghost, 
with the like importunity, though in a tonecorrespond- 

* AcU xxi. \{). 

224 Ch.IX. Interview V! rUiilV. Invfisum. 

ing to the difference of situation^ was a dehortation, to 
the same effect, added, with one voice, by the adhe* 
rents, of whom the suite of the self-appointed Apostle 
was composed, and by all the other Christians then 
present. '^ And when we heard these things (says 
** the author of the Acts), both we, and they of that 
** place, (Caesarea) besought him not to go up to Je- 
" rusalem *." 

The Holy Ghost, whom all the rest of the Church 
had for their advocate, was no equal match for the 
Holy Ghost whom Paul had for his adviser. ^* What 
" mean ye (says he) to weep and to break mine heart ? 
** for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to 
" die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus-f-." 
To a Holy Ghost so highly seated, submission from 
a Holy Ghost of inferior rank, was the only course 
left. ^^ When he could not be persuaded (concludes 
" the historian), we ceased, saying, The will of theLord 
" be done." 

Paul die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord 
Jesus .^ He, Paul, this self-constituted Apostle, who, 
upon his own showing, had never seen Jesus ? for the 
nanle of Jesus ; forsooth, die at Jerusalem ? at that 
Jerusalem, at which the indisputable Apostles had | 

been, and continued to be, living and labouring, in | 

the service of that same holy name, each of them (or 
they are much misrepresented) not less ready and 
willing, both to live and^ upon occasion to die for it, 
than be could be ? Was it then really to die for the 
name of Jesus ? was it not rather to live ? to live for 
his own name, for his own glory, for his own profit, 
and for the pleasure of depriving of their flock those 
shepherds of souls, by whom his pretensions had been 
disallowed, his story disbelieved^ his advances received 
with that distrust and jealousy, for which the long 

• Acts xxi. 12. t Acts xxi. 13. 

^. 5. Opposiiion by the Apo$tles^ 8fc. 225 

and bitt4*r experience they had had of him, afforded 
so amply sufficient a warrant ? men, in whose eyes,^ 
though in the clothing of a shepherd/ he was still a 

What was he to die for ? By whose hands was he 
to die ? By no danger^ since he had ceased to be 
their declared persecutor, had any Christians, in their 
character of Christians, whether disciples or preachers, 
then, or at any time, been menaced*: of no such 
danger, at any rate, is any, the slightest, intimation 
ever to be found : if any danger awaited him, it was 
by himself, by his own restless and insatiable am- 
bition, by bis own overbearing and ungovernable tem- 
per, that it was created. Had he but kept to his agree* 
ment ; had the whole of the known world, with the 
single exception of Judea, been wide enough for him: 
no danger would have awaited him :— he and Jerusa- 
lem might have remained in peace. 

What service that ihey could not, could Ac hope 
to do to the cause ? For doctrine, they had nothing 
to do but to report the discourses ; for proof, the mi- 
racles which they had witnessed. To this, what could 
he add ? Nothing, but facts, such as we have seen, 
out of his own head, — or, at best, facts taken at se- 
cond hand, or through any number of removes from 
them, — and, in an infinity of shapes and degrees, tra- 
vestied in their passage. 

In this account, the curious thing is — that upon 
the face of it, the Holy Ghost of prophet Agabus is 
mistaken: nothing happened in the manner men- 

-* In Acts xii. King Herod is indeed spoken of as having (y. 1 .) 
"^ stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the Church, and he 
" killed ** (it is said) ''James, the brother of John« with the sword." 
Then comes the story of Peter *s imprisonment and liberation. But 
the cause of these inflictions had nothing to do with religion : the 
proof isr*-nor can there be a more conclusive one— to no such 
Cause are they attributed. 


226 Ch. IX. Interview V. ^fct/IV. bwashn. 

tioned by him : for, in the same chapter comes the 
account of what did happen, or at any rate is, by this 
same historian, stated as that which happened: — by 
no Jews is the owner of the girdle bound : dragged 
by the people out of the temple, — by that same peo- 
ple he is indeed attempted to be killed, but bound he 
is not : for, with his bieing bounds the attempt to kill 
him is not consistent : binding requires mastery, and 
a certain length of time, which killing does not : a 
single blow from a stone may suffice for it. 

As to the Jews ddivering him into the hands of 
the Gentiles, — it is by the (jentiles that he is delivered 
out of the hands of the Jews : of the Jews, the endea- 
vour was — to deprive him of his life; of the Gentiles, 
to sav6 it. 



In this important contest, the Holy Ghost of Agabus 
was predestinated to yield to the irresistible power of 
Pauls Lord Jesus. He made his entry into Jerusa- 
lem (Actsxxi. 17.), and the very next day commenced 
the storm, by which, after having been on the point 
of perishing, he was driven, at last, as far as from Je- 
rusalem to Rome, but the particulars of which bdoug 
not to the present purpose. 

What is to the present purpose, howevar, is the 
company, which, upon this occasion, he saw. James, 
it may be remembered, was one of the three Apostles 
—out of the whole number, the only three who, on the 
occasion of the partition treaty, could be prevailed 
upon to give him the right hand of fellowship. Into 
tne house of this James he entered: and there what he 
saw was an assembly, met together for the purpose, of 

^. 6. ^postles^ Plan far ridding thefnselves, 227 

giving him the advice, of which more particular men- 
tion will be made in its plac^; It was — to clear him- 
self of the charge, — a charge made against him by 
the Jewish converts, — of teaching all the Jews^ which 
are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, and of 
inculcating that doctrine by his own example. (Aetsxxi. 
20 to 24.) Well! at this assembly who were present? 
Answer-— the Elders — all of them : of the Apostles 
with tbe single exception of James, at whose house 
it was held, not one : not even John, — not even Pe- 
ter: — the two other Apostles, by whom, on their part, 
the treaty had been entered into: — ^Peter, the chief of 
the Apostles ; — ^John ** the disciple** (John xix. 26 ; 
XX. 2 ; xxi. 7. 20.) whom Jesus loved. Tlie nerves 
of James it appears, from other tokens besides this, 
were of a stronger texture than those of either of 
these his two colleagues : he alone stood the brunt. 
As for Peter, he had been so '' withstood to his fac^ 
by Paul on the occasion of his first visit, that he had 
no stomach to be so withstood a second time. 

James, it may be remembered, was the Apostle, at 
whose motion, against the opinion and speech of 
Peter, the resolution insisting upon certain Jewish 
observances, on the part of heathen converts to the 
Church, was carried. 

Here then, in support of the proposition maintained, 
by James,— ^here, was an assembly of the rulers of tJie 
Church convened: the Elders — the elected coac^utors 
of the Apostles all of them present : of the Apostles 
themselves, not one: James excepted, whose pre- 
sence, it is evident, could not, on this occ&sion, be dis- 
pensed with. Of this assembly, the objeeti and sole 
object, was— the insisting upon Paul's taking, for the 
sake of the peace of the Church, a certain measure. 
Now, the measure thus insisted upon, what was it ? 
The clearing himself of a certain charge then men- 
tioned. And this charge, what was it ? A charge — of 

a 2 

228 Ch. IX. Intei^xew V. Visit IV. Invasitm. 

which, consistently with truth,— of which without 
such direct falsehood, alif committed would be noto- 
rious, — he could not clear himself. In this case, one 
of two things would absolutely, be the result. Either 
he would be rash enough to commit the falsehood, — ^ia 
which case his reputation and power of disturbing the 
peace of the Church would be at an end; or, shrinking 
from the summons, he would virtually confess himself 
guilty: in which case kkewise, he would find his si- 
tuation, in the midst of an universally adverse multi- 
tude, no longer tenable. 

For this clearance, a ceremony was prescribed to 
him :— a ceremony, the effect ot which was — to de- 
clare, in a manner, beyond all comparison, more so* 
lemn and deliberate than that of any thing which is 
commonly understood by the word oaih^ — that he had 
not done any thing, of that which he stood chaiged 
with having done, and which it could not but be ge- 
nerally known that he bad done. Witness those Epi- 
stles of his, which in another place we shall see*: — 
Epistles in which he will be seen, so frequently, and 
upon such a variety of occasions, and in such a variety 
of language, not only proclaiming the neecUesBness of 
circumcision — its uselessness to salvation, — but, in a 
word, on all points making war upon Moses. 

No course was so rash, th^t Paul would shrink firom 
it : no ceremony so awful, or so public, that Fkul 
would fear to profane it. Of the asseveration, to 
which he was called upon to give, in an extraordi- 
nary form, the sanction of an oath, the purport was 
universally notorious: the falsity, no less so: the 
ceremony, a solemnity on which the powers of sacer- 
dotal ingenuity had been exhausted, in the endeavour 
to tender it efficaciously impressive. Place of per- 

* See Chap. xii. 

§. 6. Apostles* Plan for ridding themselves. 229 

fonnance, the most sacred among the sacred : act of 
entrance, universally public, purpose universally noto- 
rious ; operations, whatever they were, inscrutably 
concealed from vulgar eyes : person of the principal ac- 
tor occasionally visible, but at an awful elevation: 
time, requisite for accomplishment (Actsxxi. 27.) not 
less than seven days : the whole ceremony, effectually 
^ecured against frequent profanation, by ** charges 
too heavy to be borne by the united power of four or- 
dinary purses *. With all the ingredients of the most 
finished perjury in his breast, — perfect consciousness, 
fixed intentionality, predetermined perseverance, and 
full view of the sanction about to be violated, — we 
shall see him entering upon the task, and persevering 
in it. While the long drama was thus acting in the 
consecrated theatre, the mind of the multitude was ac- 
cumulating heat without doors. The seven days neces- 
sary^ were as yet unaccomplished, when indignation 
could hold no longer: they burst into the sacred edifice, 
dragged him out, and were upon the point of putting 
him to death, when the interference of a Roman officer 
saved him, and became the first link in that chain of 
events, which terminated in his visit to Rome, and 
bdongs not to this plaqe. 

Thus much, in order to have the clearer view of the 
plan of the Apostles, and of the grounds of it, from 
which will be seen the unexceptionableness of it, it 
seemed necessary for us here to anticipate. But such 
rashness, with the result that followed — the Apostles, 
in their situation, how could they have anticipated it? 

Baffled, in their former endeavours to keep the in- 

* Acts xxi. 23, 24. '' We have four men (say the Apostle* 
' and Elders) we have four men which have a vow on them;** 
' 24. Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges 
' with them." 

230 Ch. IX. Interview V. FhitlV. Invasion. 

vader from entering the holy city — that holy city, with 
the peace of which his presence was so incompatible, 
such was the course which they devised and embraced 
for driving him out of it. For the carrying of this mea- 
sure into effect, a general assemb^ of the governing 
body of the Church was necessary. At this assembly 
had no Apostle been present, it could not, in the eyes 
of the Church at large, have been what it was neces- 
sary it should appear to be. Though, of the whole 
number of the Apostles, no more than one was pre- 
sent, — yet, his being the house at which it was held, 
and the others, whether summoned or no, being ex- 
pected of course, by the disciples at large, to be like** 
wise present, — the Elders being likewise "a//** of them 
present^ — this attendance was deemed sufficient : as 
to the other Apostles— all of them but the one whose 
presence wa^ thus indispensable, — abhorrence, to- 
wards the man, whose career had in their eyes com- 
menced with murder, continued in imposture, and had 
recently been stained with perfidy, — rendered the 
meeting him face to face, a suflfering too violent to be 
submitted to, when by any means it could be avoided. 

On this occasion, the opinion, which, as we have 
seen, cannot but have been entertained by them, con- 
cerning Paul and his pretensions to Revelation, and 
to a share equal to their own in the confidence of 
Jesus, — must not, for a moment, be out of mind. 

The whole fellowship of the Apostles, — all others, 
to whom, at the time, any thing about the matter 
was known, believed his story to be, the whole of it, a 
pure invention. In their eyes it was a fabrication : 
though we, at this time of day — we, who of ourselves 
know nothing about it, take for granted that it was all 

For proving the truth of it, all we have are bis 
own accounts of it : his own accounts, given, some of 

^. 6. ApostUs^ Plan/or ridding themselves. 231 

them, by himself directly : the rest ultimately, his be- 
ing the only mouth from which the accounts we have 
seen in the Acts could have been derived. Bearing 
all this in mind, let us now form our judgement on 
the matter, and say, whether the light, in which the 
Apostles viewed his character and conduct, and the 
course pursued by them as above, was not from first 
to last, not only conformable to the precepts of their 
master, but a model of patience, forbearance, and pru- 

( 232 ) 


Paul disbelieved continued. — His Foutth Jemsalem 
Visit continued. His Arrival and Reception. 
Accused by all the Disciples of the Apostles, he 
commences an exculpatory Oath in the Temple. 
Dragged out by them — rescued by a Roman Com^ 
mander-'^'Sent tn Custody to Rome. 



Spite of the opposing Holy Ghost,*— spite of the 
Apostles, and their prophet, — there he is at Jerusa- 
lem. Now comes an incident— or say, rather, a re- 
lation — which is altogether curious. 

At ** Jerusalem** (says the history) " the brethren 
" received us gladly*." The brethren? what bre- 
thren ? the brethren, by whom Agabus, with his 
stage-trick, had been sent some sixty or seventy miles* 
journey, in the endeavour to keep him at a distance ? 
the thousands of Jews thereupon immediately men* 
tioned.^ those Jews, who, though believers in Jesus, 
are not the ** less zealous of the law,** and enraged at 
Saul for those breaches of it, with which he is charged? 

That, by such of them, if any, by whom — by the ap- 
pearance he made, with his suite, it had happened to 
DC more or less overawed, — that by these, an appear- 
ance of gladness was assumed, seems credible enough: 
look for those, by whom he could have been received 

* Acta xxi. 17. 

§. 1 . Paul received hy bui one Apostle. 233 

with real gladness — they will not, it should seem, btt 
very easy to be found. 

Not, till the next day after his arrival, do Paul and 
his suite present themselves to any in authority in 
this spiritual commonwealth. Tlie first person, to 
whom, on this occasion, he presents himself, is 
James : that one of the Apostles, who, with the ex- 
ception of Peter, is the person, and the only person, 
with whom Paul has, on the occasion of any of his 
visits, been represented as holding converse. Not 
with this James — ^not with any settled inhabitants of 
Jerusalem — ^has he had his lodging : only with Mna- 
son *, a man of Cyprus, whom, lest a lodging should 
be wholly wanting, they had brought with them 
from Csesarea. Of this so extensively apprehended 
arrival, there bad been full time for ample notice : 
among the rulers, those, who, as well as James, chose 
to see him, were all present. Who were they ? the 
elders — "all the elders." Of the Apostles, not so much 
as one, besides James. Let it not be said, that, under 
the word elders^ the Apostles were meant to be in- 
cluded: on other occasions, on which elders are men- 
tioned, (Acts XV. 4. 6. 23.) the Apostles are mention- 
edj as forming a body, distinct, as they naturally would 
be, — distinct from these same elders. 

Salutations performed, he addresses the assembly 
in that strain, which was so familiar to him : boast- 
ing upon boasting, and, above all things, boast- 
ing that he does not boast : ** declaring** (says his 
historian) ; — declaring ? what ^ declaring what was 
his business at Jerusalem ? declaring what service, 
in his eyes, the cause stood in need of, at his hands ? 
Not he, indeed : to any such effect, declaration might 

* Acts xxi. 16. " There went with us also ceriain of the disci- 
' pies of Caesirea, and brought with them-pne Mnason of Cyprus, 
' an old disciple^ with whom we should lodge.*' 

234 Q\\. X. Paul at Jerusalem — Reception^ 

not have been altogether so easy. What he declare^ 
and that " particularly ^'' was — ^what " things God 
** had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.** 
Exactly on this, as on his last preceding visit, — when 
all, but himself, were speaking to the question before 
him — Peter on one side ; after him, James on the 
other side — nothing, is either he, or his companion 
Barnabas, represented as saying, that belongs to the 
question ; nothing, but " declaring what miracles 
and wonders, '^ God had wrought among the Gen- 
tiles by them.** Between what is represented, as hav- 
ing been said on the two occasions, — one diflference, 
and no more than one, is visible. On the former oc- 
casion, *' miracles and wonders ;** on this latter oc- 
casion, no miracles, no wonders :-^nothing more than 
things. Supposing any of them particularized — ndtber 
miracles nor wonders had, it should seem, been for- 
tunate enough to obtain credence : for that reason, 
it should seem, that, on this occasion, all mention of 
them is dropt. 

Hearing of these things, what did these elders ? 
Being things that '' God** (as they were informed) 
*' had wrought,** they could do no less than glorify 
** the Lord*.** As in PauVs Epistles, so here, in tl^ 
Acts, — by the Lord, it is Jesus, who,as far as it ap- 
pears, is the person, all along meant to be desig- 
nated. Here, God (it may be observed) is the person, 
by whom every thing good, that is done, is done: Je- 
sus — the Lord Jesus— the person, who \%glarifiedioT it. 

To make his boasts, was his business with them: 
but, to subscribe to those same boasts^ was not their 
business with him. 

Their business was — to inform him, of the storm of 
unpopularity, which by his audacity he had brought 
upon himself: to inform him of the storm, and to 

* Actaxxi. 19, 20. 

^. 2. PauTs law Tone. 235 

point out the only course, which, in their view of the 
matter, presented a chance for his escape from it. 
•* Thou seest,** — (say they) — " thou seest how many 
" thousands of Jews there are which believe ; and 
" they are all zealous of the law *. 2 1 • And they arc 
" informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews 
'' which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses ; 
'' saying, that they ought not to circumcise [their] 
" children, neither to walk after their customs t* 
" 22. What is it, therefore ?" (add they,) " the mul- 
'' titude must needs come together: for they will 
" hear that thou art come." 



On more accounts than one, remarkable, — and not a 
little instructive, is the account we have of this last 
recorded visit: and, in particular, as to what con- 
cerns the reception he experienced from the ruling 
powers of the Church. 

It is, in some particulars, more especially to be 
depended upon, — inasmuch as, at this important meet- 
ing, the author of the Acts — if he is to be believed — 
was himself present. 

The first remarkable circumstance is — that, on this 
occasion, Paul, the self-elected Apostle — instead of 
taking the lead, and introducing his companions — 
keeps behind, and is introduced by them : such was 
the pliancy, with which — even on this expedition, of 
invasion and projected conquest, — an expedition, — un- 
dertaken, in spite of every thing that could be done, 
both on the part of the intended objects of the con- 
quest, and on the part of his own adherents — such 
1 1' ■ — ' ■ ■* ■ ■ ■.■■■ ■■■ 1 1 ■■ ..I ^ ^_ 

* Acta xxi. 20. t Acts xxi. 2 J . 


236 Ch. X. Pmil al Jerusalem — Reception. 

was the pliancy, mth which this man (among whose 
boasts was that of being all things to all men,) could 
bend himself to circflimstances. 

Acts XXL 15 — 18. 15. "And after those days, 
** we took up our carriages, and went to Jerusalem. 
*^ 16. There went with us, also, [certain] of the 
•* disciples of Csesarea, and brought with tnem one 
•* Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we 
** should lodge.**" At Jerusalem, not so much as a 
house, to harbour them, could they have been as- 
^red of, but fof this old disciple — fellow-countryman, 
of Paul's old patron, the Son of Consolation, Barna- 
bas. Not even with him could they have been as- 
sured of this token of friendship, had he not either 
been already of their party, or detached himself to 
meet them, and afford them the assurance: although, 
at Csesarea, — from some cause, of which, while the ef- 
fect is brought to view, no intimation is given, — they 
were fortunate enough to obtain a hospitable recep- 
tion (Acts XXI. 8.) at the house of Philip. This, how- 
ever, (be it observed) was not Philip, the Apostle, 
whether it may have been Philip, stiled here the Evan- 
gelist : — one of the seven trustees, or directors, (Acts 
vi. 5.) to whom, with his six colleagues, under the 
name, so inexpressively rendered, in the English, by 
the word Deacons^ — the managenfient of the common 
fund had, by the suffrages of the disciples^ been com- 
mitted, must be left to conjecture. 

17- "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the 
** brethren (Acts xxi. 17) received us gladly.** What 
brethren ? The Apostles, or any one of them ? no : 
Tlie elders ? no. Who then .^ — ^Who, but such of the 
members of the Church, as, notwithstanding the ge- 
neral repugnancy-, — as teslified at Tyre, and after- 
wards, by prophet Agabus, at Csesarea, — could, by 
the influence of the Cypridt Mnason, or otherwise, 
be prevailed upon to see them. 

§. 2. PauFs low Tone. 237 

And» to whom was it, that this sort of reception, 
whatsoever it was, was afforded ? Was it to Paul ? 
No: it was to those , who, on other occasions, were 
with him; but, with whom^ on this occasion, his 
prudence forced his pride to submit to be. 

Witness the next verse (Acts xxi. 18): ** And 
" the day following** (not till the day following) 
" Paul went in with us unto James.** U^th them — 
with these his attendants— did P^ul, then and there, 
go in : — not they with him. 

At the house of James — mark well, now — ^who 
were the persons present ? Answer — " all the elders.** 
But, forasmuch as these elders were, all of them, 
present, — notice, within the compass of the two frag- 
ments of two days, — notice, to and by all of them 
must have been given and received : for it has just 
been seen, whether, between any of them, on the one 
hand, — and Paul, or, so much as any one of his at- 
tendants, on the other,-«-there could have been any 
such sort of good understanding, as to have produced 
any the least personal intercourse, but at, and on, 
the occasion of the general and formal meeting : — a 
meeting, which — as will be seen presently — had, for 
its sole object, the imposing upon him, in the event 
of his continuance at Jerusalem, an obligation: an ob- 
ligation — to a man in his circumstances— it has been 
seen, of how perilous and repulsive a nature. 

Such, then, was the notice, as to have brought to 
the place, all the Elders — All the Elders ? — good. 
But, these Elders — Elders among the disciples in or- 
(/maTy,— on an occasion such as this, what were thejfy 
in comparison of the Apostles — ^the only known chosen 
servants, and constant companions of Jesus ? Well, 
then, while — atthis meeting — this formally convened 
meeting — those Elders were, every one of them, pre- 
sent — what was the number oi Apostles present.^ An- 
swer — Besides James, not one. 

238 Ch. X. Paul at Jerusalem — Reception. 

And— why James ? — ^manifestly, because it was at 
his house, that the meeting was held. 

And — why at his bouse ? Because, on the occa- 
sion, and for the purpose, of the partition treatv^ — 
that treaty, so necessary to the peace of the Chun^,^— 
on the one hand ; and, to the carrying on of PauFs 
scheme of dominion, on the other hand ; — James.was 
one, of the only three, who could ever endure the 
sight of the self-declared Apostle : Peter and John, 
as hath been seen, being the two others: — and, because, 
when, for the purpose of investing the meeting, in 
the eyes of the disciples at large, with the character 
of a meeting of the ruling administrative body — ^the 
Apostles,— less than that one, if there were any, there 
could not be. This one, James — ^under the pressure 
of the present emergency — ^prevailed upon himself 
to be: and, to so irksome an intercourse — notwith- 
standing the obviousness of the demand for as great 
a number, as couid be collected, of that primarily 
influential body— of no other of the Apostles, could 
the attendance be obtained : not even of Peter, who, 
on a former occasion, had brought himself to endure 
the hateful presence. 



Now, then, as to miracles. Had Paul, really and 
truly, ever received from Jesus, any such pre-eminent 
and characteristic appendage and mark of Apostle- 
ship, — here, of all others, was an occasion, on wbidi 
it concerned him to make proof of it. Here was an 
occasion, on which, with the design, and for the 
purpose — the palpable, and almost universally and so 
strenuously opposed, design and purpose--*of consti- 

§• 3. Paufs AliraeUs disproved dy Siience, 239 

luting himself the superior of the Apostles, he was pre- 
senting himself — though in circumstances of such hu« 
miliatiot) — in the character of an equa]» with whom 
they had treated on equal terms. Here — ^in order to 
impose silence on all gainsayers — ^here was the occa- 
sion, for his bringing to public view, this most im- 
portant of all items in the list of his credentials. The 
Apostles, to whom — without any exception, by Jesus, 
if the Evangelist* is to be believed — this power had, 
previously to his ascension, been imparted, — ^these, if 
any, were the men — not to say the only men— qualified 
to form a judgment on the question — ^whether, by any 
other individual, and, more especially, by the individual 
before them, namely, by this their self-declared col- 
league, any such extraordinary power had, on any, and 
what, occasion, been exercised or possessed. Of all ima* 
ginable occasions, this was the one, on which he had 
roost at stake, in the being able to make proof of so 
matchless an endowment :— of an endowment, which, 
in the character of a proof, in support of all his claims, 
would, in the very nature of it, have been so perfectly 

Well, then: this proof of his title-— did he use 
every endeavour, or make any offer, to produce it ? 
No : not so much did he venture upon, as, in any the 
most general terms, to assert, or, so much as insinu- 
ate, the existence of it. According to his own state- 
ment, what was the general description of the tokens 
brought forward by him, for the purpose of obtain- 
ing acceptance .^ Were they signs and wonders? Oh, 
no! His historiographer, indeed — ^in that, or any other 
such indeterminate, and conveniently ambiguous phrase 
— ^his historiographer, at some twenty or seven-and- 
twenty years' distance, might venture (Acts xiv. 3.) to 
speak of his exploits — of the effects produced by his ex- 

• Markxvi. 15 to 18. 

240 Ch, X- Paul ai Jerusalem — Reception. 

ertions: in the like terms, in writing to his Corinthian 
disciples, he might, even himself, venture, for once, 
to speak of his own exploits*. But, before an assem- 
bly, so composed, was this boast, loose, and conveni- 
ently ambiguous, as it was, — in his eyes, top much to 
venture. Acts xxi. 19 — Behold here the passage: 
verse 19. *' And when he had saluted them, he de- 
" clared particularly** — what ? what — signs and won- 
" ders ? No : but simply — what things God had 
" wrought among the (xentiles by his ministry." 

Had he hazarded so much as the general expres- 
sion of signs and wonders, — ^well, and what were 
these signs and wonders ? give us, at any rate, some- 
thing by way of a sample of them ? In any one of 
them, u'as there any thing supernatural ? any thing 
— beyond the success, the extraordinary success— -we 
are to understand, your exertions were attended with? 
Questions, to some such effect as this, which, in an 
assembly, so composed, had he ventured upon, any 

* 2 Cor. xii. 12. '^ Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought 
" among you in all patience^ in signs, and wonders, and mighty 
•' deeds." Not that, by the words signs and wonders, when used 
by Paul, any thing more was meant, than what, but a few years 
after, was, according to him, doing, or about to be done, by Anti- 
christ. 2 Thess. ii. 9 : " Even him, whose coming is, after the 
" manner of Satan, with all powers, and signs, and lying won- 
'' ders." Ly'mg is, indeed, the adjunct prefixed, in this instance \ 
but, lying or not lying, if Paul be believed, they failed not to pnn 
duce the efiect intended by them. Signs and wonders being such 
equivocal things, no great wonder if — ^writing at Corinth to no- 
body knows what disciples of his at Rome, a.d. 58 (Rom. xv. 18, 
19.)— he could venture (if this was venturing) to speak of what 
he had been doing in Jerusalem and illyricum, in the same terms. 
*' For I will not dare to speak (says he) of any of those things 
'' which Christ has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles 
''obedient by word and deed. 19. Through mighty signs and 
" wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jem- 
" salem, and round about, unto Illyricum, 1 have fully preached 
" the Gospel of Christ.** 

§. 3. PauPs Silence proves his Miracles unreal. 24 1 

such expressions, he could not but have expected to 
be annoyed with. 

The occurrences which, in the course of it, in 
the character of miracles^ he has ventured to present 
to view, will have been seen in their place and order. 
Yet — notwithstanding the mention there respectively 
and severally i|iade of them — no mention of them 
does he, in the account given by him of the meeting, 
venture to put in his leader*s mouth. Why.^ be- 
cause — ^forasmuch as, by Paul himself, no such pre* 
tence was ventured to be made — the meeting was too 
important, and too notorious, to render it safe to ad- 
vance any such matter of fact ; the fact being false ; 
or, that any such pretensions were really made. 

But, hereupon come two questions. 

1 . Had any such miracles been really wrought— 
was it in die nature of things, that, on this occasion, 
Paul should have omitted all mention of them ? every 
so much as the most distant allusion to them ? 

2. If any such intimation had really been given, by 
the historian himself, is it in the nature of the case, 
that, on this occasion, — ^he having been one of the 
witnesses, in whose presence they bad been perform- 
ed, — all mention of such intimation should have been 
omitted ? 

Well, then — ^suppose that to both these questions, 
let it but be a negative answer or the true one, the 
consequence is plain — no such miracles were wrought. 
Yet, in his narrative, has this man— exhibiting him- 
self, at the same time, in the character of ^percipient 
witness, in relation to them — ventured to assert the 
existence, one after another, of the whole list of these 
particularized miracles, not to speak of the cluster of 
unparticularized ones. 

242 Ch, X. Paul at Jemsalem — Reception. 


Such being in their eyes the danger ; now comes 
their expedient /or the arresting of it. It is an alto* 
gether curious one : and among those persons styled 
elders — all the elders — ^to every sincere and pious 
Christian it will naturally be matter of no small satis* 
fection that no one of the whole fellowship of the 
Apostles is to be found. 

According to the description here given of it, the 
expedient is of such a sort, that — but for the occasion 
on which it is represented as being proposed, — scarcely 
would it be possible to divine what is meant ; what 
it was that was proposed to be done ; or, whatever it 
was, what could be the use or effect of it ? 

" Do therefore this*** (continues the speech attri- 
buted to these elders) *' do therefore this that we say 
'* to thee : we have four men which have a tow on 

** them : ^24. Them take, and purify thyself with 

'* them, and be at charges with them, that they may 
*' shave [their] heads : and all may know that those 
** things, whereof they were informed, are nothing ; 
^* but [that] thou thyself also walkest orderly and 

" keepest the law. ^26. As touching the Gentiles 

" which believe, we have written [and] concluded 
'' that they observe no such thing, save only that they 
'* keep themselves from [things] offered to idols, and 
" from blood and from fornication.— *26« Then 
*' Paul (it is added) took the men, and the next day 
'* purifying himself with them entered into the temple 
'* to signify the accomplishment of the days of punfi- 

* Acts xxi. 23. 

^. 4. Test recommended to Paul. 243 

'^ cation, until that an offering should be offered for 
" «very one of them." 

In the terms of the historian, the matter of the ac- 
cusation in question is this : namely, *' that thou ** 
(speaking to Paul) *' teachest all the Jews which are 
*^ among the Gentiles to forsake Moses:** it then di- 
vides itself into two branches : one is— that 'Hhey oueht 
" not to circumcise their children;** the other is — ^tnat 
** they ought not to walk after the customs :** — ^i. e. con- 
fonn to any part of the habitual observances — acts and 
forbearances together — prescribed by the Mosaic law. 

Such is the accusation : such the act charged upon 
hitfi, in the character of an offence : — the teaching pf 
the doctrine in question. 

In regard to the question — whether the doctrine he 
is thus said to have taught, had really ever been taught 
by him, — much will depend upon the difference be- 
tween simple permission and prohibition : in English^ 
upon the difference between need not and ought not. 
It,— in the doctrine, the teaching of which is thus 
charged upon him as a crime, — simple/^^rmt^i^'oTt was 
included — ^if (in speaking of the converts in question) 
the saying was — that they need not circumcise their 
children — that they need not walk after these customs 
— ^this and no more; — in this case, that the charge, 
such as it is, was true, is altogether out of doubt :-« 
if, on the other hand, the act he was charged with, 
went so far as to the teaching that they ought not 
to circumcise any of their children, or that they ought 
not to walk after the customs prescribed in the Mo- 
saic law— on this supposition, the truth of the charge 
will at any rate not be quite so clear as in the other 

According to the English translation, that which is 
charged as an offence, was not committed, unless, in 
the doctrine taught, a direct prohibition was con^ 
tained : to a doctrine importing nothing more than a 


244 Ch. X. Paul at Jerusalem — Reception. 

simple permission to abstain from the acts and for- 
bearances in question, the charge would not have any 
application. Not thus unambiguous, however, is the 
(jreek original ; either by prohibition, or by ample 
permission, might the doctrine charged as criminal 
have been taught. 

Such is the description of the pbnoxious practice, 
with which Paul is here stated as having been charged: 
the practice by which the odium is stated as having 
been incurred. 

But this imaginary guilt, in what view do iliey 
mention it as imputed to him ? In this view evi- 
dently ; viz. that at their recommendation he may 
take that course, by which, in their view, he will es* 
cape from the wrath of which he had become the ob- 
ject. The effect thus aimed at is, — that the indig- 
nation of which he is the object, may be made to 
cease. How made to cease ? in one or other of two 
ways : for the nature of the case admits not of any 
other : either by proving that that which he had been 
supposed to have taught, had not in truth ever 
been taught by him, and thus, that no such offence as 
he was charged with, had, in fact, ever been commit- 
ted by him; or that, if any such offence had been com- 
mitted, the practice recommended might be accepted 
as an atonement : or rather as an assurance, that what- 
ever in his past conduct had given them offence, 
would not be repeated by him in future. 

When the supposed remedial practice has been ex- 
plained, — then immediatelyaftercomes,wesee,a more 
particular indication of the good effects, for the pro- 
duction of which it is recommended. These are — in 
the first place, that, whatsoever were the doctrines he 
was charged with having taught, it will be generally 
known that no such doctrines were ever taught by 
him : in the next place, that it will in like manner 
be known, that by himself no such habitual offence 

^.4. Test recojnmefided io Paul. 246 

as that of an habitual violation of the law in question 
was committed. 

Such are the effects, stated as resulting from his 
performing the ceremony, the performance of which 
was thus recommended to him. 

This ceremony we see : and what we see at the 
same time is — that it could not be, in the nature of 
it, productive of any such effects. 

Here is a certain doctrine, which he.>had been 
charged with-having taught. If the case was, that he 
had taught it ; let him have purified himself ever so 
purely, whatsoever was meant by purification, — ^let him 
have purified himself ever so completely, let him have 
paid ever so much money, let him have shaved his 
head ever so close, — ^by any, or all of all these supposed 
meritorious acts,, how could that be caused, not to 
have happened, which in fact had happened.^ by what 
means could they afford proof of his performance of 
any ceremony, other than those very same purification 
ceremonies themselves? 

As to the purpose of furthering the temporal in* 
terest of the individual in question ; namely, by re- 
moving the load of odium, with which at that time 
it seems he was burthened, — how far, in relation to 
this object, the expedient promised to be an effectual 
cure, is more than at this time we can find any ground 
for saying : as to any good purposes of any other 
kind, that it was not in the nature of it to be pro- 
ductive of any, may be pronounced without much 
danger of error. 

Here at any rate was a ceremony — a ceremony the. 
object of which was — to apply, to the purpose uf en^ 
suring obsequiousness, the power of the religious 

The object, to which it was meant to apply that 
form, comes, it may be seen, under the general de- 
nomination of an oath. An oath is either assertory 

246 Ch. X. Paul at Jerusalem-^Reception. 

or promissory : If it be an oath of the promissory kind, 
it is called a vow. An oath which is not a vow can- 
not respect any thing but what is past : upon that 
which is pasty no human act can any longer exercise 
any influence. A vow has respect to something fu- 
tures—to the future conduct of him by whom the vow 
is taken : and to this conduct a man, in and by the 
taking of the vow, engages to give the form therein 

Whatsoever, therefore, these ceremonies were in 
themselves, — thus much seems plain enough, respect- 
ing the immediate effect they were designed to an- 
swer : namely, either the delivery of a certain species 
of evidence, or the entering into an engagemeni to a 
certain effect : the evidence being a denial of the act 
charged : the engagement, a promise not to practise 
any acts of the sort in question in future. 

Whatsoever was the c^eet looked for, and intended, 
by the ceremony, — ^thus much we know, if the histo- 
rian is here to be believed: namely, that, in conformity 
to the advice, Paul betook himself to the performance 
of it 

But, in so doing, thus much also we know: namely, 
that he consented to, and betook himself to one of two 
things : an act of perjury, if the effect of the cere- 
monv was to convey an assertion, that he had never 
taught, that a Jew, on being converted to the religran 
of Jesus, need not circumcise his children, or walk 
after the Mosaic customs : an act of apostasy, if the 
effect of it was an engagement never to teach this 
same doctrine in future : an act of apostasy — and for 
what? only to save himself from the displeasure enter- 
tained towards him on unjust grounds by a set of ill- 
advised and inconsistent disciples. 

Under the general head of jPauts Doctrines, parti- 
cular title Faith and Works, it will be seen what 
pains he had tfiken, on so many occasions, to weed 

§.4. Test reco7nmended to Paul. 247 

out of men's breasts. Gentiles and Jews together, all 
regard for the Mosaic law — ^to cause them, in the 
words of the charge, to forsake Moses. " By the 
** works of the law,** (says he in his letter to the Ga« 
latians*,) *' by the works of the law shall no flesh be 
" justified-** 

In this same letter, and in the same paragraph, — he 
speaks, of a speech which he had made, of a reproof 
which, at Antioch, he had given to Peter : — ^given to 
him, at a point of time long before the time here in 
question, namely, that of his last preceding visit — his 
third visit to Jerusalem, — this being the fourth. Let us 
see, once more, on what occasion, and for what cause, 
this reproof: we shall thereby be the better enabled to 
judge — how far, supposing the ceremony to have the 
effect of an assertory oath, — ^how far that oath can 
have been conformable to the truth. 

Speaking of Peter, " Time was ** (he says) " when 
** he did eat with the gentiles : but at Antioch, as 
** above, certain [persons] came from James f : ** and 
then it was that " he (Peter) withdrew and separated 
*< himself, fearing them which were of the circumci- 

" sion. 13. And the Jews'* (continues he) "dis- 

<^ sembled likewise with him ; insomuch that Bama- 
^* has also was carried away with their dissimulation.** 
Of this return to Judaism, or at any rate of the dissi- 
mulation which accompanied it, what is the judgement 
which, if he is to be believed, he pronounced ? An- 
swer, Tliat in so doing '* they walked not uprightly 
" according to the truth of the Gospel.** Thereupon 
it is, that he charged Peter with inconsistency, and 
reproved him for it : " Because ** (says he) " he was 
<^ to be blamed j;. When I saw that they walked 
'* not uprightly according to the Gospel, I said unto 

« Gal. ii. 16. t Gal. ii. \2, 13. \ Gal. ii. 14. 

248 Ch. X, Paul at Jerusalem — Reception. 

" Peter before [them] all. If thou, being a Jew, livest 
" after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the 
*' Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as 
" do the Jews ?" 

Before me lies a book by Thomas Lewis, M.A» in 
four 8vo volumes, entitled Origjines Hebraica. In 
this book, under titles f^ow and Purification, my ex- 
pectation was, to find some explanation of this matter : 
as also of the other vow taken by Paul at Cenchrea*, 
in the interval between his third visit to Jerusalem, 
and this fourth : but no mention is made of either : 
nor does any thing appear, by which any light can 
be reflected upon either. 

On the four men, whom, in pursuance of the re- 
commendation in question, Paul is said to have taken, 
that he might " purify himself along with them,** the 
intended effect of the ceremony in question is said to 
be — the making or performance of a vow. But, from 
the circumstance of its being a vow in their case, it 
follows not absolutely that it may not have been an 
oath — ^an assertory oath, in his case. 

At Jerusalem, for the taking or performance of a 
vow, a man was received into the temple: — a district 
more extensive by far, it appears, than the district 
called Mules of the King^s Bench at London : from 
the account given by Lewis, as well as by this, — ^it ap- 
pears that, on every such occasion, fees were taken by 
the priests. As to the four men here in question — 
having already, as it is stated, a vow on them, but 
nothing as yet done in consequence, — ^it looks as if it 
had been by poverty that they had hitherto been kept 
from the accomplishment of their purpose : on which 
supposition, Paul being the head of a considerable 
party, and as such having a command of money, — part 

• Acta xviii. 18, 

§. 4. Test recofHmended to Paul. 249 

of the recommendation seems to have been — that, to 
acquire the reputation of liberality, he should open 
his purse to these his proposed companions, and pay 
their fees. 

On the occasion here in question, whatsoever was 
the purpose and intended effect of the ceremony, 
what appears from verse 27* is — that seven days were 
regarded as necessary for the accomplishment of it : 
no mention of this in Lewis. 

On this occasion, by the author of the Acts, once 
more is mentioned the conciliatory decree of the Apo- 
stles and Elders. Still, not a syllable about it is to 
be found in any Epistle of Saint Paul^ or in any other 
of the Apostolical Epistles that have come down to us. 

Humanly speaking, — ^in what motives, in what cir- 
cumstances, in what considerations, shall we say^ that 
the causes, final and efficient, of this temperament — 
this mezzo termino — this middle course — are to be 
found ? The answer that presents itself is as follows : 

Two stumbling-blocks were to be steered clear of: 
— the scruples of the Jewish converts, and the refrac- 
toriness of the Gentiles. So far as regarded absti- 
nence from idolatrous feasts, and from meat with 
the whole blood in it, killed and dressed in a manner 
other than that in practice among the Jews, — confor- 
mity, it was judged, need not be dispensed of, at the 
hands of the Gentiles: and, so long as they would be 
content with meat killed and dressed after the Jewish 
mode,— the Jewish teachers might, without giving of- 
fence to their Jewish converts, have the convenience 
of partaking of the tables of the Gentile converts. As 
to the rest — the endless train of habitual observances, 
by which so large a portion of a man's life was occu- 
pied and tormented, neither these permanent plagues. 

* Acts xxi. 27. 

260 Cb. X. Paul at Jerusalein — Reception. 

nor the initiatory plague of circumcision, though the 
affair of a minute, and performed once for all, were 
found endurable : neither upon himself nor upon his 
children would a man submit to have it practised. 

After all, if the author of the Acts is to be beliered, — 
it was by the Jews of Asia, and not by those of Jeru- 
salem, that, at Jerusalem, the tumult was nused, by 
which this purification of Paul's was rendered incom- 
plete, and his stay at Jerusalem cut short : he being 
removed for trial to Rome ; at which place the his- 
tory leaves him and concludes. 

Of the behaviour observed by the Jerusalem Chris- 
tians, on that occasion — ^Apostles, Elders, Deacons 
and ordinary brethren all together — nothing is said. 
Yet, of these there were many thousands on the spot*: 
all of them of course informed of the place — the holy 
place, — in which, at the recommendation of the Sders, 
Paul had stationed himself. By the Jews of Asia 
were "all the people on this occasion stirred up-fr* 
yet, among so many thousands, no protection, nor any 
endeavour to afford him protection, for aught that ap- 
pears, did he experience. Yet Asia it was, that had 
been, to the exclusion of Judsea, the theatre of his 
labours : from Asia it was, that the train of atten- 
dants he brought with him, were come — were come 
with him to these brethren — " the brethren,"— ^s if 
it had been said, a// the brethren, — ^by whom, accord- 
ing to the author of the Acts, they were " received so 

At this period ends all that, on the present occa* 
sion, it will be necessary to say, of this last recorded 
visit to Jerusalem. Of the two inconsistent accounts 
said to have been given by him of his conversion— one 
to the Jerusalem mob, the other to king Agrippa — ^fuU 

• Acts xxi. 20. t Acts xxi. 27. 

^ . 5 • Tesi swallowed. 25 1 

notice has been taken under the bead of his conver- 
sion : of the miracles ascribed to him at Malta, men- 
tion is here made, in the chapter allotted to the history 
of his supposed miracles. Of any other subsequent acts 
or sa3nngs of his, no notice will require to be taken in 
this place. The matter here in question has been — ^the 
sort of relation, stated as having had place, between 
this self-constituted Apostle, and those who beyond 
controversy were constituted such by, and lived as such 
with, Jesus himself: and to this have incidentally been 
added the causes, which have continually been present- 
ing themselv^, for suspicion, in respect of the verity 
and authenticity, or boui, of the history, which, under 
the name of the Acts of the Apostles^ has come down 
to us, connected by the operations of the bookbinder, 
in the same volume with the several histories of the 
four Evangelists, and the Epistles — not only of Paul 
himself but of others among the Apostles; and with 
the work styled, as if in derision, " The Revelations.^ 



But the Apostles-^(says somebody)— ^what are we to 
think of the Apostles ? If by Paul a peijvry was thus 
committed, were they not — all of them who joined in 
this recommendation— ^so many suborners of this 
same perjury ? 

The answer wiU, it is hoped, by most readers at 
l^ast, have been anticipated.— Yes or no, if so it be, 
that it was their expectation that he would commit it; 
no, assuredly ; if it were their expectation — ^tbeir as- 
sured expectation — ^that he would not commit it: 
that, even in his person, even after all they had wit- 
nessed in him» the union of profligacy and rashness 

252 Cb. X. PatU at JerusnlcfH-^Receptum. 

would never soar to so high a pitch. The necessity 
they were under, of ridding themselves of his presence 
was extreme : — of ridding themselves — and, what was 
so much more, their cause. Stay in the same town, 
and in the same company with them, he could not, — 
without being either their known adversary^ or their 
known associate. Their known adversary he could 
not be^ without either continuing himself to be an ob- 
ject of universal horror, or else rendering them objects 
of horror, to the whole body of their disciples. Their 
associate he could not be, without involving them in 
that odium, with which he himself was, by the confes- 
sion of his own adherent and historiographer, covered. 
Under these circumstances, (not to speak of the cause 
of mankind,) for saving themselves and their cause 
from destruction, — what course could they take, so 
gentle, and at the same time, to all appearance, so 
surely effectual, as the proposing to him this test? — 
a test, which no man could rationally expect, that any 
man in his circumstances would take. 



With this occurrence concludes so much of Paul's 
history, as, — for the purpose of perfecting the demon- 
stration given, of the disbelief manifested towards his 
pretensions to a supernatural intercourse with the Al- 
mighty, — it was found necessary here to anticipate. 

Of what remains of his history, as given in the Acts, 
—an account, more or less particular, will be found in 
two other chapters — the 19th and 20th — of this work. 

In the matter of the chapter — the 13th — in which 

^. 6. Indignation universal — Escape^ Mode. 253 

PauFs supposed miracles are brought to view, — ^his 
history is, as to all those particulars which seemed ne- 
cessary to be brought to view for the purpose of the 
present inquiry, — deduced to very near the time, at 
which the historian of the Acts, having conducted him 
to Rome, leaves him there: leaves him there, and with 
no other notice, than that of his having, at the time, 
at which the history closes, passed two years at that 
capital, in a sort of ambiguous state between freedom 
and confinement: waiting to receive, at the hands of 
the constituted authorities, the final determination of 
his fate. 

In the 20th, which is the last of the chapters, which 
belong to that part of this inquiry, for the distinguish- 
ing of which, the word history has been employed, 
— will be found a brief notice, of the accounts which 
remain to us, of such parts of his adventures, as there 
will not have been occasion to bring to view under any 
of the former chapters. 

Meantime, lest any thing should be wanting, that 
conld have contributed to the elucidation on a point 
of such supreme importance, follows in the next chap- 
ter a concluding and more particular view of the 
grounds, on which, on the occasion of his visit to the 
temple, the intention of deliberate perjury was found 
necessary to be imputed to him^. 

* Ch. xi. 



Paul disbelieved continued. — Pauts/ourih Jerusalem 
yisit continued. — Per/tirious was the Purpose of 
the exculpatory Oath commenced bjf hwi in the 



We have seen the indignation produced l^ Paul*i» in- 
vasion of the dominion of the Apo&tles : we have seen 
it carried to its height, by his commencement of, and 
perseverance in, the exculpatory ceremony, for the 
purpose of which he made his entrance, and took up 
his lodgement in the temple. We have seen die 
fruits of that same indignation : we have seen the ge- 
neral result of them. What remains is — to give a 
clearer and more explicit conception, than can « yet 
have been given, of the cause of it. 

This was — neither more nor less, than an univer* 
sal persuasion — that the assertion, — to which, on his 
part, this ceremony had for its object the attaching 
the sanction of an oath, — was, to his full knowledge, 
false: the oath employed being, in its form, beyond 
comparison more impressive, than any that has been 
known to be at any time in use, in this or any other 
country: and that, accordingly, the confirmation ^ven 
to the falsehood, in and by means of that most da- 
borate and conspicuous ceremony, was an act of per- 
fwy: of perjury, more deliberate and barefeced, than 
any thing, of which, in these days, any example can 
have place. 

That, on this occasion, the conduct of the self-con- 
stituted Apostle was stained with perjury, is a matter. 

^.1. Acts Account. 255 

intimation of which has unavoidably come to have 
been already given, in more parts perhaps of this work 
than one. But, for a support to a charge, which, if 
true, will of itself be so completely destructive of 
PauFs pretensions— of all title to respect, at the hands 
of every professor of the religion of Jesus — no slight 
body of evidence could have been sufficient. 

For this purpose, let us, in the first place, bring 
together the several elementary positions, proof or 
explanation of which, may be regarded as necessary, 
and at the same time as sufficient, to warrant, in this 
case, a verdict of ^i//y. 

To these charges, is immediately subjoined such 
part of the evidence, as is furnished, by the account 
of the matter, as given in the Acts : in another sec- 
tion will be brought to view the evidence, furnished 
by Paul himself, in his Epistles. Hie evidence from 
the Acts is of the circumstantial kind: the evidence 
from the Epistles is (Srect. 

1. To Paul was imputed as a misdeed, the having 
recommended the forsaking of the Mosaic law. Re- 
commended, namely, to such disciples of his as, hav- 
ing been born and bred under it, were found by him 
settled in some Gentile nation. Proof [Acts xxi. 21] 
. . . • " They" (* the Jews which believe, ver, 20) " are 
'' informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews 
** which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, 
*^ saying, that they ought not to circumcise their chil- 
** dren, neither to walk after the customs.** 

2. To a great extent, the imputation was well 
grounded : for, to a great extent, it had been his 
practice, to give the recommendation thus described. 
Of this position the proof will follow presently. 

3. By Pbul, the truth of this imputation was ut« 
terly denied : denied by the opposite denegatory as- 
sertion: and, the imputation being as above well 
grounded,-^in so far as any such denegatory assertion 

256 Ch. XI. Peijunous, PauTs Ceremony. 

had been made by him, he had knowingly uttered a 
wilful falsehood. 

4. In proof of the sincerity of this denial, it was 
proposed to Paul, on the part of the Apostles and El- 
ders, to give a confirmation of it, by the performance 
of a certain appropriate ceremony. 

5. The ceremony thus proposed, was one that was 
universally understood, to have the effect of attaching, 
to any assertion, connected with it for the purpose, 
the sanction of an oath. 

6. Knowing such to be the effect of the ceremony, 
he gave his assent to the proposition, and determined, 
by means of it, to attach the sanction of an oath to 
such his denial, as above : and thereby, the assertion 
contained in that denial, being, as above, to hisjcnow- 
ledge, false, — to commit, in thatextraordinarily solemn 
and deliberate form and manner, an act of perjury. 

/• In pursuance of such determination, he accord- 
ingly repaired for that purpose to the temple, and had 
his abode therein for several days : the completion of 
the requisite number being no otherwise prevented, 
than by the irruption of the indignant multitude, as- 
sured as they were of his being occupied in the com- 
mission of a perjury. 

Proof of Charges 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Acts xxi. 23, 24. 
26, 27, 28. 

23. <* We (the Apostles and the Elders, or at least 
« the Apostle James, ver. 18) have/wr men, which 
** have a vow on them ; 

24. "Them take, mA purify thyself with them, 
" and be at charges with them, that .... all may 
" know that those things, whereof they were informed 
''concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thy- 
" self also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. 

26. " Then Paul took the men, and the next day 
" purifying himself with them entered into the tem- 
" pie, to signijy the accomplishment of the days of 

§. !• Acts^ Account. 257 

*' purification, until that an offering should be offered 
" for e?ery one of them. 

27. " And when the seven days were almost ended, 
*• the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him 
'' in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid 
** hands on him. 

28. " Crying out, Men of Israel, help ; This is the 
** man, that teacheth all [men] every where against 
'* the people, and the law, and this place : and further 
*' brought Greeks also into the temple ; and bath pol- 
" luied this holy place.** 

Of the perjuriousness of Paul's intent, a short proof, 
namely of the circumstantial kind, is thus already vi- 
sible, in the indignation excited, — its intensity, its im- 
morality, and the bitter fruits of it. Will it be said 
no ? for that the indignation had, for its adequate cause, 
his being thought to have spoken slightingly of the law 
in question-^it being the law of the land, — and that, 
to this imputation, the ceremony, it beins^, as above 
the performance of a vow, had no reference ? Assuredly 
no: no such interpretation will be found tenable. 
True it is, that, by the persuasion, that he had thus 
been dealing by the Mosaic law — by this persuasion, 
without need of any thing else, the indignation may 
well have been produced: but it could only have been 
by the knowledge, that, upon his having been called 
upon to confess the haWng so done, or to deny it, he 
had, in this most extraordinary and universally con- 
spicuous mode, given continuance and confirma- 
tion to his denial — it could only have been by this 
knowledge, that the excitement was raised up to so 
high a pitch. For, What was it that the information 
had charged him with ? It was the forsaking Moses. 
What was the purpose, for which the recommendation 
was given to him — the recommendation to perform 
this ceremony ? It was the punning himself, " that 
all might know*' that the information was groundless. 

258 Ch. XI. Perjurious, PauTs Ceremony. 

*• That those things/* (say the Apostles with the El- 
ders to him) *' whereof they** (the thousands of Jews 
which believe, ver. 20) " were informed against thee 
were nothing : *' — " to puri/y thyself^ says the official 
translation : more appositely might it have said to 
clear thyself: for in that case, the idea of an imputa- 
tion would clearly enough, though but implicitly, have 
been conveyed : whereas, to some minds, the idea 
conveyed by the word purify may perhaps be no other 
than that of some general cleansing of the whole cha- 
racter, by means of some physical process, to which, 
in so many minds, the psychological effect in question 
has, by the influence of artifice on weakness, been at- 

Such then, namely, the clearing himself of the 
imputation by so solemn a confirmation of the denial 
of it, — such was the purpose, for which, in the most 
unequivocal terms, his performance of the ceremony 
was recommended : such, therefore, was the purpose 
for which it was commenced ; such, accordingly, was 
the purpose for which it would have been consum- 
mated, but for the interruption which it experienced: 
experienced not from his hands, but from hands, 
among which, there seetns sufficient reason to be- 
lieve, were the hands, if not of the very persons by 
whom it had been recommended, at any rate of those 
who till that time had been in use to be guided by 
their influence. 

To this inteipretation, what objection is there that 
caj^ be opposed.^ If any, it can only be that which 
to some minds may perhaps be suggested by the word 

But the fact is — this word vow is a mis-translation: 
the proper word would have been oath. By an oath 
every one understands at first mention an assertory^ 
not a promissory^ declaration : by a vow, a prtmas- 
sory, not an assertory one. But an assertory decla- 

^.1. Ads Account. 259 

ration, as every one sees, is the only sort of declara- 
tion, that admits of any application to the case in 
question. By nothing that, in Paul's situation, a man 
could promise to do, in addition to the performance 
of the ceremony, could any evidence be given, of a 
man's having, or not having, done so and so, in any 

That by that which was actually done, that which 
was essential was considered as having been done,— - 
is proved, by what is put into Paulas mouth in relation 
to this subject, in his defence against the accusation 
brought afterwards against him, before the Roman 
governor Felixy by the spokesman of the Jewish 
constituted authorities, TeriuUtis; There it is, that, 
beyond all doubt, what he is speaking of, is his clear- 
ance, as above : for there also^ the word in the offi- 
cial translation, as well as in the Greek original, is 
purified: in the past tense, purified. This being as* 
sumed, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that 
either in the course of that part, which at the time of 
the irruption, was already elapsed of the seven days^ 
ceremony, in the temple ; or, what seems more pro- 
bable, antecedently to the commencement of it, a de- 
negatory declaration — ^a declaration denying the fact 
charged in the accusation, — had been made : for, that 
the ceremony itself was never accomplished, is what is 
expressly stated :— of the term of seven days, stated as 
necessary to the accomplishment of it, no more than 
a part (it is said) had elapsed, when the final inter- 
ruption of it took place. 

To return to the time of PauFs entrance into the 

Thus, as hath been seen, stands the matter, even 
upon the face of the official English translation. But 
in verse 26, the word employed in the Greek original, 
removes all doubt* "Then** (says the translation) 
" Paul took the men, and the next A^y purifying him^ 


260 Ch. XI. Perjurious, PauFs Ceremony. 

" ^tf^ with them, entered into the temple.'* Purifying 
himself, in the present tense, says the translation : 
and, even this alone taken into consideration, the pu* 
rifying process, whatever it was, might be supposed 
to have been but commenced before the entrance into 
the temple, and as being thus as yet in pendency, 
waiting the exit out of the temple for its accomplish* 
ment. Thus it is, that, in the translation, the verb is 
in the present tense, purifying himself: but, in the 
Greek original, it is in the past sense, having puri- 
fied himself*: so that, in the original, the purification, 
whatever it may have been, is in express terms stated 
as being, even before his entrance into the temple, 
already accomplished. 

Note that, if the historian is to be believed, he had, 
on this occasion, the fullest opportunity, of being, in 
the most particular manner, acquainted with every 
thing that passed. For, when, as above, the recom- 
mendation was given to Paul, on his appearance be- 
fore the Apostle James and the Elders, — ^he, the his« 
torian, was actually present, *^ And the day follow** 
ing," (says he. Acts xxi. 18,) " Paul went in with us 
** unto James ; and all the Elders were present.** 

Supposing that the true interpretation, — of what 
use and effect then (it may perhaps be asked) was the 
ceremony, of which the temple was the theatre ? The 
answer has been already given. It cannot have been 
any other than the attaching, to the declaration that 
had been made, the sanction of an oath. Without 
the ceremony performed in the temple, the declara- 
tion was a declaration not upon oath, and as such not 
regarded as sufficient evidence: — evidence, in the shape 
which, the historian says, had been actually required 
for the purpose : when the ceremony, of which the 
temple was the theatre, had been gone through, and 

§.1. Aeis' Account. 261 

the last of the numher of days required for its accom- 
plishment had been terminated ; — then, and not before, 
it was regarded as having been converted into the ap- 
propriate and sufficient evidence. Thus it was, that 
this seven days* ceremony was no more than an ela* 
borate substitute to the English ceremony of kissing 
the book, after hearing the dozen or so of words pro- 
nounced by the official functionary. 

On this occasion, the Greek word rendered by the 
word vow, is a word which in its ordinary sense was, 
among Gentiles as well as Jews, exactly correspondent 
to our word prayer*. But, the idea denoted by the 
worA prayer ^ applies in this case with no less pro- 

Eriety to an assertory oath^ than to a promissory vow^ 
>irectly and completely, it designates neither. In both 
cases an address is made to some supposed superna- 
tural potentate: in cases such as the present, be- 
seeching him to apply the sanction of punishment to 
the praying individual, in the event of a want of sin- 
cerity on his part: in this case, in the event of his 
not having done that which, on this occasion, he de- 
clares himself to have done, or (what comes to the 
same thing) his having done that which he^declares 
himself not to have done : in the other case, in the 
event of his not doing that which he has promised to 
do, or doing that which he has promised not to do^. 

t On this occasion^ supposing the purpose of this ceremony to 
be, as here contended, no other than that of applying, to a decla- 
ration concerning a matter of fact, the supernatural penal sanction, 
by which it was converted into an oath, — a natural enough subject 
of inquiry is — to what cause is to be attributed the extraordinary 
length thus given to it > — seven days at the least -, to which, upon 
examination, would be found virtually added, as much greater a 
length of time, as the holy person, to whose custody the oath-taker 
consi^ed himself, might be pleased to prescribe. Answer, with- 
out difficulty, — the amirding time and pretence for the exaction 
of his turpUcefeet .-—namely, those established by law, — with the 

26'? . Ch. XI. Perjurious^ PauVs Ceremony. 

All this wh)le» it b not in a direct way (it may be 
observed) that this word vow is employed, and appli- 

addition of others, to as large an amoant, as the need which the 
oath-taiker had of the accommodation thus to be aflRorded to hiia, 
could engage him to submit to. As to the length of time. — in the 
passage m question, the translation exhibits some obscurity : nor 
IS it altogether cleared up by the original. A determinate number 
of days, to wit, seven, is indeed mentioned (ver. 27); but imme- 
diately before this (ver. 26) comes a passa^, from whence it seems 
unquestionable, that, whatever were the time a man had been thus 
detained, he was not to be let out, until, over and above what good 
things it had been made necessary he should bring in with him, a 
further payment, and as it should seem, in a pecuniary shape, had 
been made : ** to signify ** (says ver. 26) " the accomplishment of 
** the days of puri6cation, until that an offering should be offered 
** for every one of them.** " And when the seven days were oi- 
fnoit ended,** continues ver. 27 : immediately after which comes the 
account of the tumult, by which they were prevented from being 
quite ended. 

As to the phrase * — " to signify the accomplishment of the days,*' 
what seems to be meant by it is — to make known when the number 
requisite for the comi)letion of the train of operations had been oc- 
eompUshed. But, to make known when that number had been oc- 
compHshed, it was previously requisite to make known when it bad 
commenced: and, for making this known, the act, probably a 
public one, of making entrance into the temple, was employed. 

As to the origin, as well as particular nature, of the ceremony, — 
though no such word as Nazarite is here employed, on turning to 
the Book of Numbers, chapter the sixth, it will be manifest, that 
the ceremony here in question is the same as that, by which, ac- 
cording to the receipt there given, any man whatever (whether, 
and any woman also, must be left to conjecture,) might be con- 
certed mto a Nazarite. NoMarite is from a Hebrew word, which 
meant originally neither more nor less than a person separated, 
A person consigned himself to the custody of " the priest of the 
congregation t ** or, as we should now say, the parson of the parish. 
The ceremony accomplished, the patient was thereby put into a 
state of appropriate sanctity : and, from this metamorphosis, as the 
priest and the Nazarite could agree, any inference might be drawn, 
aud any purpose at pleasure accomplished. Neither to the erfoa^of 
the inference, nor therefore to the purpose designed, were any limits 

* In the Greek, the word rendered by ** to signify " it )<*>yixx*v, gmng 
infonnation abroad— spreading Che information abroad among the people 

^. 1. ^cU' ^ccouni. 263 

cation made of it to Paul's case : not in speaking of 
Paul himself in the first instance, but after speaking 

visible. Every thing depended upon the priest : for, though of cer- 
tain particular operations made requisite, a most particular list it 
given,(allof them of the most insignificant character in themselves,) 
yet so thickly and so plainly sown are the seeds of nullity, that, 
when all the appointed fees, of which there is also an enormous 
list*, had been paid, it would still lie at the option of the priest, 
to pronounce the whole prscedure null and vchq, unless, ana until 
any such final compliment as he chose to expect, v^re paid to 

* In the bargain between ▼ow-maker and Yow-sanctifier, the following Hat 
of feea, provid^ for sanctifier, by Excelleni Church of that country, in those 
days whatever they were,-^may serve to show the ose of it to one of the conw 
tracting parties. To complete our conception of the nature and effects of the 
arrangement, nothing is wanting, but that which so unhappily must for ever 
Tcmun wanting— « history of the fmrpates, to which, from the commence- 
ment of the government to the dissolution of it, the solemnity had been ap- 
plied on the vow-maker*s side. Of these purposes, we must content our- 
selves as well as we can with the sample, for which we are here indebted to 
tiie author of the Acts. The table of fees is as follows : 

It is extracted from the Book of Numbers, chapter vi. verses 1 to SI. 

I. Fees to be paid in all cases: fees liquidated in quantity, and thence in 

J . He lamb of the first year, one. 
S. Ewe-lamb of the first year, one. 
S. Baa without blemish, one. 

II. Feet, not liquidated in quantity, and thus left to be liquidated in quan- 
t^y, and thcnoe in vahie, by the will of the priest. 

4m Basket of unleavened bread, one. 

5. Parcel of cakes of fine flour mingled with oil. 

6. Fsrcel of wafers of unleavened bf ead anointed with oil, one. 

7. Meat-offering, one. 

a. Brink-offerings^numbers and respective quantities not liquidated. 

III. Fees payable^ on a contingency : a contingency not describable with- 
out anore tiaae and labour, than would be paid for by the result. 

9. Turtle-doves or pigeons, two. 

10. Lamb of the first year, one. 

IV. Mysterious addition, the liquidation of which must be left to the He- 
brew scholar. Ver.21 " Beside tAaf that his hand shall get : *' (whose hand? 
piiest*8 or vow-maker*s?) ** according to the vow which be vowed, so he must 
•'do after the law of his separation:**— probable meaning, according to the 
puipoee, for which he performed die ceremony— 4he advantage which he look- 
ed for from it. 

Moreover, by any one whose curiosity will cany him through the inquiry, 
causes of nullity may be seen as sedulously and copiously provided, as if by 
tile aatutia of an English judge, or pair of judges, to whose profit the fees wera 
lo be received : effect of the nullity, of course, repedtion ; necessity of repeai- 
ingthe process, as in case of new trial or arrtM ofjudgemmty with the fees 

Religion was thus no less aptly served at Jerusalem, under Mosaic institu- 
tioos,— than Justice is to this day, under matchless constitution and English 
institutions, at WesUninster. 

264 Ch. XI. Perjurious, PauTs Ceremony. 

of the /our other men^ whom it is proposed he should 
take for his comrades, on his entrance into the 
temple. '' We have four men/* (James and the 
Elders are made to say. Acts xxi. 23. 24,) " We have 
" four men which have a vow on them : Them take, 
'' and purify thyself with them .... that .... all may 
" knoW) that those things, whereof they (the multitude, 
** ver. 22,) were informed concerning thee, are no- 
thing:" no otherwise, thereforcp^than by the case these 
four men were in, is the case designated, in which it 
is proposed to Paul to put himself. 

him. Among the most obviously, as well as extensively convenient 
purposes, to which it was capaole of being applied, is this of which 
the present case affords on example : namely, the manufacturing of 
evidence : could he but find means to satisfy the priest, a man 
might, to all legal purposes, and even to the satisfaction of all ap- 
propriately disposed minds, prove, and with conclusive eflfect, any 
thing to be false, which every body knew to be true. By flibricatioD, 
falsification, or suppression of evidence, what is the right that may 
not be usurped ? what is the wrong that may not, with success 
and impunity, be committed ? 

In the Mosaic law, immediately before ihSs institution (Num- 
bers, chap. V.) comes another, by means of which every man, who 
was tired of his wife, might, in another way, with the assistance 
of a priest'-^and, for aught that appears, any priest— clear him- 
self of that incumbrance. All the man had to do was — to sail 
he was ''jealous*' of her : the priest thereupon took charge of her. 
If priest and husband were agreed, " the water of jealousy*" did 
its office : if not, the woman remained imprisoned. Against the 
superhuman evidence, afforded by the purifying process here in 
question, no quantity of human evidence was to be available. In 
like manner, to, warrant this poisoning process, not any the smallest 
particle of human evidence was necessary : the case in which it is 
to be performed, is, " if there be no witness against her^ neither she 
be taken,*' says the text. Numbers v. 13 *. Verily, verily, not with- 
out sufficient cause, did Jesus, from first to last, take every oc- 
casipn, to weaken the attachment of the people, to a system of 
law, of which those institutions afford two, among so many sam- 

« To make the nmtter clear^ " with the manner" add the episcopal timiia- 
)ators : misapplyiagi in this absurd way, a Law- French expression of the Crown 
lawyers. Being taken in the mainsur, meant in their language, being taken 
with ths thing in hand : meaning the thing Helen, 

\. 1. jicis* Acwuni. SftS 

As to the case these four men were in, — no other* 
wise than on account of its connection with the case 
Paul was in, — \% it in anywise of importance. As 
probable a supposition as any seems to be — that of 
their being in the same case with him : accused, as 
well as he, of teaching " Jews to forsake Moses :* 
for, between their case and his, no intimation is 
given of any difference : and, as the ** purifying him* 
self** is what is recommended to him, so is it what 
they are stated, as standing eventually engaged to do 
on their part. If then, in his instance, purifying 
himself means— clearing himself of a charge made 
against himy — soin their instance must it naturally,not 
to say necessarily, have meant— clearing themselves of 

pies. Yet, while in the very act of depreciating it, is he represent- 
ed as declaring his purpose to be theJitlfilUng it: Matt. v. 17. for, 
such was the verbal veU, which the prejudices he had to encounter, 
rendered it necessary to him at the moment, to throw over the 
tendency of his endeavours. Fulfill the very law he was preaching 
against? Yes : but in one sense only : namely, by fulfilling — not 
the real purpose of it, — the establishment of the corrupt despotism of 
the priesthood, — ^but the professed purpose of it, the good of the com- 
munity: in remrd to the law, fulfilling, in a word, whatever there was 
tliat was good in it, whatever there was that deserved to be fulfilled. 
Jesus, in whose opinion death was too severe a punishment, for a 
wife, in the case of a breach, on her part, of a contract, the breach 
of which was by the other contending party practised with impu- 
nity — Jesus, who accordingly, in saving the offender, exposed 
to merited disgrace the sanguinary law — ^was doubtless still further 
from approving, that parish priests, in unlimited numbers, should 
poison innocent women for the accommodation of their husbands, 
or sell licenses to commit every imaginable wrong bv perjury. 

Fow is oath : this is not theonly occasion, in which tne self-conKti- 
tuted Apostle, if his historiographer is to be believed, took the be* 
nefit, whatever it was, of this ceremony. In Acts xviu. 16, he 
" shooed his head,"* (it is said) at Cenchrea : — ^why ?-— " for he had 
a vow upon him." What the vow was, we are not told ; this, 
however, we know, as well from Acts (xxi. 26) as from Num- 
bers (vi.)y he could not have got any thing by it, had the parson 
of the parish of Cenchrea been otherwise than satisfied with the 
*' offering** that was made. 

266 Ch. XI. Perjurious ^ Paul* s Ceremony. 

some charge made against them. Moreover, when, 
as above, he is, in the Greek original, stated as having 
actually purified himself, before his entrance into the 
temple, so are they likewise ; for it is *• with them^ 
that his purification is stated as having been per- 

This being assumed, it might not be impossible Xo 
find a use for the word vwv^ even in its proper sense 
—its promissory sense: for, what might be sup- 
posed is — ^that before the entrance into the temple, 
at the same time with the denegatory declaration^ 
a vow was made — a solemn promis-* — ^to enter into 
the temple, and back the declaratioi. with the sanc- 
tion of an oath, by going through the ceremony. 
But, forasmuch as, in the import of the Greek word, 
no such idea, as that of a promise^ is comprised, — the 
only use of this interpretation would be — to save the 
translators from the imputation of an impropriety, 
with which it seems rather more probable that they 
stand chargeable. 

All this while, of ^auFs conduct on this occasion, 
to what part was it that the blame belonged ? — Surely, 
not to the endeavour, to wean men from their attach- 
ment to the Mosaic laws: for thus far he copied Jesus; 
and in copying did not go against, but only beyond, the 
great original. True it is, that, in so doing, he served 
his own personal and worldly purposes : not less so, 
that, in this subserviency, he found the inducement by 
which his conduct was determined : for, by how much 
stronger men*s attachment would continue to be to 
the dead lawgiver, by so much, less strong would 
it be to the living preacher. But, in so far as a man*$ 
conduct is serviceable to mankind at large, it certainly 
is not rendered the less serviceable, or the less laud- 
able, by his being himself included in the number. 
The blame lay then — not in teaching men to for- 
sake Moses : for, thus far, instead of being blame- 

^.1. Acts* Account. 267 

worthy, there was nothing in his conduct, that did 
not merit positive praise. What there was amiss in 
his conduct — in what, then, did it consist ? Plainly 
in this, and this alone : namely, that, on being taxed 
with having so done, — instead of avowing and justify- 
ing it, he denied it : and, having denied it, scrupled 
not to add to the falsehood the aggravation of such 
extraordinarily deliberate and solemn perjury, as hath 
been so plainly yisible. And, to what purpose com- 
mit so flagrant a breach of the law of morality? 
Plainly, to no other, than the fixing himself in Jeru- 
salem, and persevering in a project of insane and 
selfish ambition, which, in spite of the most urgent re- 
monstrances that could be made by his most devoted 
adherents, had brought him thither : for, he had but 
to depart in peace, and the Apostles of Jesus would 
have remained unmolested, and the peace of Christen* 
dom undisturbed. 

An article of evidence, that must not be left unno- 
ticed, — is the part taken, on this occasion, by the hi- 
storiographer. No where does this eyewitness take 
upon himself to declare, — nowhere so much as to in- 
sinuate,*-that, of the charge, thus made upon his hero, 
there was any thing that was not true : nowhere does 
he so much as insinuate, that the declaration, by which 
he says Paul had cleared himself of the charge, and 
(as we have seen) before his entrance into the temple 
for the purpose of enforcing it by the sanction of an 
oath^ — was any thing short of a downright falsehood. 
After this, he makes a defence for Paul before Felix* ; 

♦ . Paul at the suit of TertuUus, A^ 60. Acts xxiv. 1, 2. 5, 6. 9. 
11. 18. 

1 . ** And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with 
** the elders^ and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who in- 

" formed the governor against Paul. 2. And when he was 

" called forth, Tcrtullus began to accuse him, 5. Saying, We 

" have found this man 9 pestilent fellow^ and a raover of sedi- 

268 Ch. XI. Perjurious, PavVs Ceremony. 

he makes a defence for Paul before Festus * ; he 
makes a defence for Paul before Festus and Agrippaf: 
and, on no one of all those occasions, is the de- 
fence any thing to the purpose. He, indeed, makes 
Pkul declare, that he, Paul, had always been a strict 

** tion among all the Jews throughout the worlds and a ringleader 

" of the sect of the Nazarenea : 6. Who also hath gome abcmt 

** io profane the temple; whom we took, and would have jvc^^ed 
" according to our law. ■ 9. And the Jews alsosMented, saying, 
'' that these things were so.— *10. Then Paul, after that the go- 
** Tcmor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered,— 1 1 . Thoo 
" mayest understand, that they are yet but twelve days since 
" I went up to Jerusalem fur to worship.— 18. Whereupon cef- 
*' tain Jews from Aaia found me purified in the temple, neither with 
*' multitude nor with tumult." 

♦ Paul before Festus alone. A* 60. Acts xxv. 7, 8. 

7m ** And when he was come, the Jews which came down fimn 
** Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous com- 

" plaints against Paul, which they could not prove : 8. While 

** he answered for himself. Neither against the law of the Jews, 
" neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I ofiend- 
** ed any thing at all.*' 

t Paul before Festus and Agrippa, A® 63. Acts xxvi. 1, 2, 3, 

I . ** Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to spesk 
*' for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and ansfimd 

** for himself: 2. 1 think myself happy. King Agrippa, because 

" I shall answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the 

" things whereof I am accused of the Jews j 3. Especially be- 

" cause I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions 
" which are among the Jews ; wherefore I beseech thee to hear me 
" patiently.— *— 4. My manner of life from my youth, which was 
" at the nrst amon^ mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the 

" Jews 5 5. Which knew me from the beginning, (if they would 

'' testify,) that after the most straitest sect of our religion, I lived 
*' a Pharisee.-^— 6. And now I stand and am judged for tho heft 

" of the promise made of God unto our fathers : 7. Unto which 

" promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and ni^t, 
** hope to come. For which hope's sake. King Agripj^, I am ac- 

" cused of the Jews. 20. But showed first unto therii of Damascus 

" and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and 
" then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and 

" do works meet for repentance. ^21, For these causes, thf 

" Jews cavght me in the temple, and vrent about to kill me/* 

^. h AcU^ Account. 269 

observer of the Mosaic ordinances. This may have 
been either true or false : but» true or false, it was 
equally foreign (o the purpose. Not improbably, 
it was, in a considerable degree, true : for if, while he 
gave to other Jews his assurance, that the operations 
in question, burthensome as they were, were of no 
use, he himself continued to bear the burthen not- 
withstanding,— the persuasiveness of his advice would 
naturally be augmented by the manifestation thus 
given of disinterestedness. It may accordingly have 
been true: but, false or true, it was equally foreign 
to the purpose : the question was — not what he had 
done himself; but, what he had recommended it to 
others to do. 

Thus — ^from every thing that appears, by all such 
persons as had the best means of information — the 
charge made upon him was believed^ — let it now be 
seen, whetlier we should not be warranted in saying, 
known, — to be true. 

As to " The Jews of Asia^—zxiA the mention 
made of this class of men, as the instigators of the 
tumult — can any support be derived from it, for the 
inference, that it was by something else in PauFs con- 
duct, and not by any such perjury as that in question, 
that the vent, thus given to indignation, was pro* 
duced*.'' No, assuredly: altogether inconsistent would 
any such supposition he, with the main part of the 
narrative. Whoever were the persons, with whom the 
manual violence originated ; — ^whatever were the re- 
proaches cast upon the invader on other grounds ; — 
the purpose — ^the sole purpose — for which he entered 
upon the ceremony, is rendered as plain as words can 
make it. It was the clearing himself of the charge 
of teaching Jews to forsake Moses : and, supposing 

♦ " And when the seven days were almost ended/* (says Acts 
xxi. 27.) " the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the 
" temple, stirred up all the people^ and laid hands on him." 

270 Ch. XL Perjurious y Paul's Cereinwty. 

the fact admitted, everything, in the way of justifica- 
tion» being, before such a tribunal, manifestly inad- 
missible, — of no such charge was it possible xoi him 
to clear himself, without denying the truth of it. 
But, according to the historian, to confirm this, de- 
nial, by the solemnity, whatever it was, — ^was the 
purpose, and the sole purpose, of it : of this, the ne- 
gative assertion, contained in the denial, being un- 
true, and, by him who made it, known \o be %o^ — 
confirming such denial, by the solemnity, — call it 
oath — call it vow — call it any thing else, — ^was com- 
mitting an act of perjury : and, to believe that such 
his denial was false, and yet not believe him guilty 
of perjury — at any rate, on the supposition of the ac- 
complishment of the solemnity — was not possible. 
How numerous so ever may have been the other 
causes of provocation, given by him — ^how numerous 
so ever, the difierent descriptions of persons to whom 
they had been given ; — no disproof could, by all of 
them put together, be given, by this solemnity, to 
the denial in question, — supposing it false. 

To the present purpose, the only question is*- 
whether, by Paul, on the occasion in question, an 
act of perjury was, or was not, committed ? not — 
what' was the cause, whether that, or any other, of 
any indignation of which he was the object. Even 
therefore, might it be allowed, that a vaiv^ in the 
sense in which it is contradistinguished from an aaih^ 
was performed by him, or about to be performed, — 
still it would not be the less undeniable, that it was 
for the purpose of converting the simple declaration 
into a declaration upon oath, that he entered upon 
the solemnity: and that, therefore, if in the simple 
declaration there was any thing to his knowledge 
false, the consequence is — that by his converting it 
into a declaration upon oath, he rendered himself 
guilty of perjury. 

The observation, thus applied, to what is said of 

§.1, Acts Account. 271 

the " Jews oj Asia*^ will be seen to be applicable, 
and, with equal propriety, to what is said about his 
being charged with ** bringing Greeks into the tern- 
**ple:** and, in particular, about his being supposed to 
have brought in " The Ephesian TropMmus:^ Kud 
moreover^ what may, in this last case, be observable, 
is — that this about the Greeks is expressly stated as 
being a further charge, distinct from the main one : 
nor yet is it so much as stated, that, by any such im- 
portation, to what degree so ever offensive, any such 
effect, as that signified by the word pollution was 

Not altogether destitute of probability seems the' 
supposition, that these two circumstances — about the 
Jews of Asia, and about Trophimus — may have been 
thrown in, by this adherent of Paul's, for the purpose 
of throwing a cloud of confusion and obscurity over 
the real charge: and, if so, the two circumstances, 
with the addition of the three different defences, put 
into the hero's mouth, on the three several occasions 
of the endeavour, — must be acknowledged to have 
been employed, not altogether without success. 

Here then closes that part of the evidence, which, 
to the purpose of a judgement, to be passed at this 
distance of time from the facts, may be considered as 
so much circfimstafttial evidence : in the next section 
may be seen that part, which comes under the deno- 
mination of direct evidence ♦. 

• Upon turning to the passage in Matthew (v. 17) iiis found 
to be still more favourable to what in p. 265 is said of it, than had 
been supposed. Of the destruction spoken of, the law is indeed 
espressly mentioned as the subject matter -, but of the fulfillment 
spoken of^ not: the subject-matter, not being mentioned, is left 
altogether indeterminate. 

272 Ch. XI. Perjurious, Paul's Ceremony. 



We come now to the direct evidence: that evidence — 
all of it from Paul's own pen :— all of it from his own 
Epistles. It consists in those ** teafshings to forsake 
" Moses/' which will be now furnished, in such un- 
equivocal terms and such ample abundance, in and 
by those fruits of his misty and crafty eloquence : — in 
the first place, in his letter to the disciples, which he 
had made, or hoped to make at Rome:— date of it, ac- 
■*cording to the received chronology, about four years 
anterior to. the time here in question : — in the next 
place, in two successive letters to the disciples, whom, 
It appears, he had made at Corinth : — ^both these ad- 
dresses, set down, as belonging to the same year as the 
one to the Romans. Moreover, in his so often men- 
tioned Epistle to the Galatians, matter of the same 
tendencv is to be found. But, this last being, accord- 
ing to tnat same chronology, of a date posterior by 
Borne years to the time, at which the charge of having 
preached the sort of doctrine in question was, on the 
present occasion, made, — it belongs not to the present 
question, and is therefore left unemployed. And, in 
the same case, is some matter that might be found in 
his Epistles to the Thessalonians. 

1 . First then as to the Mosaic *' law and customs,"* 
taken in the aggregate. 

Qn this subject, see in the first place what the oath- 
taker had said to his Romans. 

Rom. xiv. 14. *^ I know, and am persuaded by the 
** Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of it- 
*' self ; but to him that esteemeth any thing to be 
"unclean, to him [it is] unclean.— —17. For the 
" kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righte- 
*' ousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.** 

^. 2. Proof from tJu Epistles. 2/3 

Rom. iii. 20. '' By the deeds of the latv there shall 
•* no flesh he justified in his [God's] sight ; for by 
^* the law [isT the knowledge of sin. 

Rom. iii. 27, 28, 29,30, 31. "Where is boasting 
•• then ? It is excluded. By what law ? of works 'i 

•*Nay; but by the law of the faith. 28. There- 

•* fore we conclude, that a man is Justified by faith 

** without the deeds of the law. 29. Is he the God 

*^ of the Jews only ? is he not also of the GenUles ? 

*• Yes, of the Gentiles also : 30. Seeing it is one 

•• God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, 

**and uncircumcision through faith. 31. Dou^e 

•* then make void the law through faith ? Godfw^ 
** hid: yea^ we establish the lawT 

Rom. X. 9 if thou shalt confess with thy 

^< mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine 
'* heart that God hath raised him from the dead, 

**thou shalt be saved*. 12. For there is no dif- 

**ference between the Jew and th6 Greek: for the 
*^ same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon 

** him. 13. For whosoever shall call upon the 

*' name of the Lord shall be saved -|-.'* ^ 

Rom. xiv. 2. **. . . .onebelieveth that he may eat all 
** things : another who is weak, eateth herbs. — ^- 
*^ 3. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth 
*' not; and let not him which eateth not judge him 
'* that eateth; for God hath received him. 5. One 

* A cheap enough rate this, at which salvation is thus put up. 
Of what use then morality \ Of what use is abstinence from mis- 
chievous acts, in what degree so ever mischievous? " Oh ! but " 
(says somebody) " though Paul said this, he meant no such thing :'* 
ana then comes somethmg — any thing — ^which it may suit the de- 
fender's purpose to make Paul say. 

t Another receipt for making salvation still cheaper than as 
above. Not so Jesus. Matt. vii. 21 : " Not every one that saith 
*^ unto me. Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ^ 
** but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." 

^274 Ch. XL JPer/urious, Paul's Ceremony. 

^yrnan esieemeth one day above another: anpiher 
•* esieeffteth every day alike^.^ 

1 Cor. vi. 1 2.-^- " All things are lawful unto me^ 
•* but all things are not expedient :** [or profitable mar- 
gin] *^ all things are lawful for me, but I will not be 
« brought under the power of any, ■ 13, Meats for 
^< the belly ^ and the belly for meats i but God shall 
** destroy both it and them." 

1 Cor. viii. 8. " But meat commendeth us not to 
'f God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither 

*^ if we eat not, are we the worse. ^13. Where- 

** fore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat 
** no flesh while the world standeth, lest I ipake my 
" brother to offend." 

1 Cor. ix* 19 to 23. 19. " For though I be free 
^' from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto 

•5 all, that I mieht gain the more. 20. And unto 

V the Jews I became as. a •lew, that I might gain 
*< the Jews ,* to them that are under the law, as under 
" the law, that I might gain them that are under the 
'Maw:—: — 21. To them that are without law, as 
** without law, (bein,^ not without law to God, but 
*f under the law to Christ), that I might gain them 

*! that are without law. 22. To the weak became 

^5 1 as weak, that I might gain the weak : I am made 
'f all things to all men, that I might by all means 

*' save some. 23. And this I do for the GospeFs 

<' sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you." 

''2 Cor.iii. 12 tol7. 12. "Seeing then that wehave 

'* such hope, we use great plainness of speech. 

" 13. And not as Moses, which put a vail over his 
*face,that the children of Israel could not steadfastly 
" look to the end of that which is abolished.-'-^^l'i. 

* Behold here the degree of importance attached by Paul to 
iahbaths, f.Ch.x. 23. 

§. 2. Proof frtm the Epistles. 275 

''But their minds were blinded; for until this day 
'' remaineth the same vail untaken away in the read- 
*' ing of the Old Testament ; which vail is done away 

•* in Christ, 16. But even unto this day, when 

" Moses is read^ the vail is upon their heart — - 
'' 16. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord^ 
*^the vail shall be taken away.—— '17. Now the 
'* Lord is that spirit ; and where the spirit of the Lord 
" is, there is liberty.** 

Now as to circumcision in particular. 

Rom. ii. 25, 26, 27, 28, 29. 25. " For circumci- 
** sion verily prqfiteth, if thou keep the law : hut if 
** thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision ts 

** made uncircumcision. 26. Therefore if the un* 

" circumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall 
*• not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision 9 
"——27. And shall not uncircumcision which is 
" by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by 
** the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 

*' 28. For he is not a Jew, which is one out- 

<< wardly ; neither is that circumcision, which is out- 

" ward in the flesh : ^29. But he is a Jew, which 

'^is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the 
*' heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter ; whose 
*' praise is not of men, but of God.*' 

Rom. iii. 1,2. 1. " What advantage then hath the 

" Jew ? or what profit is there of circumcision ? 

" 2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them 
" were committed the oracles of God.** 

Rom. iv. 9, 10, 11, 12. "9. Cometh this blessed-^ 
** ness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the 
** uncircumcision also ? for we say that faith was reck- 

" oned to Abraham for righteousness. 10. How 

" was it then reckoned.^ when he was in circumcision, 
" or in uncircumcision ? Not in circumcision, but in 

*' uncircumcision. 11. And he received the sign 

^ of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the 


276 Ch. XL Perfurious^ PauFs Ceremony. 

** fiBiith which he had yet being uncircutncised : that 
'* he might be the father of all them that brieve, 
** though they be not circumcised; that righteousness 

'< might be imputed unto them also : 12. And the 

** father of circumeis^ion to them who are not of the 
** circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of 
** that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being 
** yet uncircumcised.** 

Rom. XV. 8. " Now I say that Jesus Christ was a 
^ minister of the circumcision for the truth of God^ to 
^ confirm the promises made unto the fathers.^ 

1 Cor. vii. 18. ** Is any man called being circum* 
^' cised ? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any 
** called in uncircumcision ? let him not be drctirndsed. 
•* — — 1 9. Circumdsiofi is nothings and undrcumci- 
'' sion is nothing, but the keeping of the command" 

From any one individual, who, in either of these 
distant cities, had seen any one of these same Epbtles, 
—let it now be seen whether information of their con- 
tents, supposing it credited, would not have sufficed 
to produce those effects, the existence of which is so 
unquestionable. Not but that the same rashness, which 
suffered him to furnish such abundant evidence against 
himself in those distant regions, could scarce fail to 
have given birth to credence in abundance, of various 
sorts, and of a character which, on that occasion, would 
be much more impressive. 



Mi3T€ Falsehoods. — Resurrection Witnesses muiti^ 
pHed. — World's End predicted.^^To save credit^ 
Antichrist invented. 



A^rrER what has been seen of the seven days* course 
of perjury, proofs of simple falsehood will be apt to 
appear superfluous. To make certainty more sure, 
two pre-eminent ones shall, however, be brought to 
view. They may have their use, were it only as ex- 
amples of the palpableness, of those falsehoods, which, 
for so many hundreds of years, and through so many 
generations of commentators, are, under favourable 
circumstances, capable of remaining undetected. The 
extravagance of the addition, made by the audacious 
stranger, to the number of the Resurrection-witnesses, 
as given by themselves : — the predicted end of the 
world in the prophet*s own life- time, — and the creation 
of Antichrist for the purpose of putting off that cata- 
strophe, — may even be not altogether unamusing, by 
the picture they will give, of that mixture of rashness 
and craftiness, which constitutes not the least remark** 
able, of the ingredients in the composition of this ex- 
traordinary character. Moreover, Antichrist being in 
the number of the bugbears, by the images of which 
many an enfeebled mind has not yet ceased to be tor- 
mented ; — putting an extinguisher upon this hobgoblin 
may have the serious good effect, of calming a mass of 
disquietude, which how completely soever groundless, 
is not the less afBicting, to the minds into which it has 
found entrance. 

278 Ch. XII. Simple Fahehoods. 

First, as to the resurrection-witnesses. In rdalion 
to a fact of such cardinal importance, the accounts 
which have reached us from the four hiographers of 
Jesus are not, it must be confessed, altogether so clear 
as could have been wished. But, on so ample a subject, 
howsoever tempting the occasion, any thing that could 
here be offered, with any promise of usefulness, would 
occupy far too much space, and be by much too wide 
a digression from the design of the present work*. 

Sufficient to the present purpose will be the obser- 
vation, that nothing can be more palpably or irrecon- 

* Matchlessly useful for the examination of this and every other 
question presented by the hiitory of Jesus, will be found the ta- 
bular work, intituled '' A SifnopsU of the three first GaspeU,"' &c. 
thin 8vo. London 1812. PrintedforRiTinp;ton and for Payne. Of 
those three of the Gospels, — and, as to this part, of all four, — the 
several texts bearing on each point are brought to view, and con- 
fronted in the compass of the same pa^e. By that precedent were 
•Qggetted the two tabular and synoptic views, attached to the pre- 
sent work. 

The account given by Luke of the resurrection and ascendon of 
Jesus is contained in the last chapter, (chap, xxiv.) ver. 53. Accord- 
ing to this account, by no men was Jesus seen in the interrol be- 
tween those two events, besides the eleven Apostles mid a few 
others, ail together not more than enough, to sit down together at 
meat, in one of the houses of a village. Luke xxiv. 9. 28, 29, 30. 
Number of the occasions on which Jesus was seen by the Apostles, 
two : the company the same without addition, and both occasions 
having place within twenty-four hours. Between these two occa- 
sions it is that Paul sticks in the one of his own inveation, in 
which Jesus was seen by above five hundred brethren at once. 

Point-blank on this head is the contradiction given to this story 
of PauVs, by his owti attendant and historiographer : namely, in 
the account put into the mouth of Peter, speaking to Centurion 
Cornelius. Acts x.39 to 42. Expressly is it there said, ver. 40, 
" Him" (Jesus) " God raised up the third day, and showed him 

" openly j 41. Not to all the people, but unto witnesses 

" chosen before of God [even] to us, who did eat and drink with 
" him after he rose horn the dead.** When in the year 62, or some 
posterior year, the author of the Acts was writing his history, no- 
thing, it will be inferred, did he know of the contradictory account 
given by his hero, in writing in a letter written in the year 57. 

^. 1. JResurreciian Witnesses multiplied. 279 

dleably inconsistent with every one of them, than the 
ample and round number, thus added by the efirontery 
of this uninformed stranger, to the most ample that 
can be deduced from any of the accounts, thus stated 
as given by the only description of persons, whose 
situation would give to their testimony the character 
of the best evidence. 

Behold now the account of the number and of the 
persons in PauVs own words. It is in the fifteenth 
chapter of the first of his two letters to his Corinthians*. 
*• Moreover, brethren (ver. 1.), I declare unto you the 
"Grospel, (the good news,) which I preached unto you, 
" which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand. 

** 2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in 

*' memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have 

•* believed in vain. 3. For I delivered unto you 

*' first of all that which I also received^ how that Christ 
'' died for our sins, according to the Scriptures : 
^ 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again 
•*the third day, according to the Scriptures:——- 
'* 5. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the 

^' twelve : 6. After that, he was seen of above Jive 

•* hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part 
** remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 
" '■■ 7 > After that he was seen of James, then of 
^ all the Apostles.-— —8. And last of all he was seen 
** of me also, as of one bom out of due time. 
'* 9. For I am the least of the Apostles, which am 
** not meet to be called an Apostle, because I perse* 
*• cuted the church of Godf.'* 

* * 1 Cor. XV. 

f FoDows a sample of Paul's logic» wrapt up as usual in adoud 
of tantoIogieB and paralogisms, the substance of which amounts 
to this :— Jjesus resurrects -, therefore all men will do the same. 
Admitting the legitimacy of this induction, what will be the thing 
proved ? That every man, a few days after his death, will come to 
life again, and eat, drink, and walk in company with his friends. 

280 Ch.XII. Simple Falsehoods. 

As to the five hundred brethren at once, with the 
additions in peiio, the more closely the Gospel ac* 
counts are looked into, the more entire will be a inan*a 
conviction of the extravagance of this account. In 
addition to the eleven Apostles that remained after the 
death of the traitor Judas, it may be matter of que* 
stion, whether so much as a single individual can be 
found, who, in anv one of the Gospels, is stated as 
having, after the death of Jesus, received from the 
testimony of sense, the demonstration of his presence. 
Of the percipient witnesses in question, not to waste 
space and time in needless discussions, taking a round 
number, and including both sexes taken together, no 
number approaching to twenty can be made out from 
any one of the four Gospel accounts, nor from all of 
them taken together. To what end then substitute 
to less than twenty, more than five hundred? To what, 
but to supply by falsehood the deficiency left by truth. 
The thing to be done was the cdtning up to the ex- 
pectations, whatever they might be, of bis Corin- 
thians. Number twenty, — ^said he to himself, — ^may 
perhaps fall short : well then, strike out the twenty, 
and set down five hundred. Thus did the self-con- 
stituted Apostle take a leaf out of the book of the un- 
just steward. 

Now then as to mutually contradictSry numbers — 
that given by the four Evangelists, and that ^ven by 
this one stranger«<^-to which shall we give credence ? 
As to the Evangelists, — ^whether, in the situation in 
which they were, and writing for the purposes for 
which they wrote, — these most intimate of the asso- 
ciates of the departed Jesus, and percipient wit- 
nesses of the several facts in question, — ^ali of them 
spoken of in the same narration, all of them so 
fully apprised of the whole real number,^-could have 
been disposed, any one of them, to set down a num- 
ber shori of the truth, — may be left to any one to 

^.1. Resurrection jyUnesses multiplied. SSI 

imagine. But^ according to PauFs calculation, the 
truth would not come up to his purpose: — to his par- 
ticular purpose : a number, such as could not fail of 
doing so, was therefore to be substituted. 

Five hundred wm as easily written as twenty. Had 
Jerusalem, or any place in its neighbourhood, been 
the place, to which this letter of his was to be address- 
ed, some caution might have been necessary. But 
Corinth — ^a place so remote from the scene of action 
— being the abode of the disciples, to whom this let- 
ter of his was addressed, — and the letters themselves, 
not destined to be seen by any other than devoted 
eyes, — Invention found herself at ease. 

Meantime, while Jesus was thus magnified, P^ul 
was not to be forgotten. Insufficient still would be 
the cloud of witnesses, unless himself were added to 
it. " Last of air (says he, 1 Cor. xv. 8.) " he* 
(Jesus) ** was seen of me also.*' Seen by him Pkiul.^ 
at what place .^ at what time? At the time of his 
conversion, when hearing a voice and seeing light, 
but nothing else ? But the whole constellation of his 
visions will here be crowding to the reader's view, and 
any more particular reference to them would be use- 
less : suffice it to observe, that on no other occasion, 
either does Paul himself, or bis historiographer for 
him, take upon himself to say, that he had ever seen 
Jesus any otherwise than in a vision, whatsoever may 
have been meant by thb so convenient term. On no 
occasion is it so much as pretended, either by him or 
for him, that in the flesh Jesus was ever seen by him. 
By no fingers of his murder-abetting hand, had ever 
been so much as pretended to have been probed, the 
wounds of Jesus. Yet, what are the terms employed^ 
by him, in speaking of the ^ghi, he pretended to have 
had of Jesus? exactly the same, as those employed by 
him, when speaking of the evidence, vouchsafed to the 

282 Ch. XIL Simple Falsehoods. 

SECnON 2. 


The unsatiableness of PauFs ambition meets the eye 
at every page: the fertility of his invention is no 
kss conspicuous. So long as, between this and the 
Other world, the grave stood interposed^ — the strongest 
impression capable of being made by pictures of fu- 
turity, even when drawn by so bold a hand, was not 
yet sufficient, for stocking it with the power it grasped 
at. This barrier, at whatever hazard, he accordingly 
determined to remove. The future world being thus 
brought at both ends into immediate contact with the 
present, — the obedient, for whom the joys of heaven 
were provided, would behold the troubles of the mid* 
die passage saved to them, while the disobedient would 
see the jaws of hell opened for their reception^ without 
any such halting-place, as might otherwise seem to be 
offered by the grave. In particular, by a nearer as 
well as smoother road than that rugged one, he would 
make his way to heaven : nor would they, whose obe- 
dience gave them a just claim .to so high a favour, be 
left behind. 

His Thessalonians were the disciples, chosen by him 
for the trial of this experiment. Addressed to them 
we have two of his Epistles. In these curious and in« 
structive documents, the general purport — not only of 
what had been said to the persons in question on a 
former occasion,but likewise of the observation of which 
on their part it had been productive,— <is rendered suf- 
ficiently manifest, by what we shall find him saying 
in the first of them. '' Good," (said they,) *'as to some 
*' of us, whoever they may be : but, how is it to be 
" with tlie rest ? in particular, with those who have 
** actually died already : not to speak of those others 

§.2. False Prophecy. 283 

'^ who will have been dying off in the mean time: for 
** you do not go so far as to promise, that we shall, all 
*' of us, be so sure of escaping death as you yourself 
"are.'* "Make yourselves easy," we shall find him 
saying to them : " sooner or later, take my word for 
" it, we shall, all of us, mount up together in a body: 
« those who are dead, those who are to die, and those 
^ who are not to die — all of us at once, and by the 
'* same conveyance: up, in the air, and through the 
<< clouds, we shall go. The Lord will come down and 
V meet us, and show us the way: — ^music, vocal and 
" instrumental, will come with him, and a rare noise 
" altogether there will be! Those who died first will 
" have risen first; what little differences there may be 
" are not worth thinking about. Comfort yourselves'* 
(concludes he) ** with these words/' Assuredly, not 
easily could more comfortable ones have been found : 
—always supposing them followed by belief, as it 
appears they were. But it is time we should see more 
particularly what they were. 

1 Thess. iv. 10 to 18.— 10. "And indeed yedoit" 
(viz. love one another,ver.9.) " toward all the brethren 
" which are in all Macedonia : but we beseech you, 

"brethren, that ye increase more and more; 

"11. And that ye study to be quiei^ and to do your 
" awn business, and to work with your own hands, 

" as we commanded you ; 12. That ye may walk 

*' honestly toward them that are without, and [that] 

" ye may have lack of nothing. 13. But I would 

" not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning 
" them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as 

"others which have no hope. 14. For if webe- 

" lieve that Jesus died and rose again, even so them 
" also which sleep in Jestis will God bring with him. 

" 15. For this we say unto you by the word of 

" the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto 
" the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which 

264 Ch. XII. Simple Fahehoods. 

*• are asleep.— -^\6, For tb« Lord himself shall dc- 
** scend from lieaven with a shout, with the voice of 
^ the archangel, and with the trump of God: and iAe 

" dead in Christ shall rise first. 17. Then we 

'< which are alive and remain^ shall be caught up tth 
^^gether with them in theclauds^ to meet the Lord in 

•• the air : ^nd so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

** 1 8. Wherefore comfortone another with these words."* 
Hereupon, without any intervening matter, follows 
that of the next chapter. The division into chapters, — 
though, for the purpose of reference, not merely a use* 
ful, but an altogether necessary one, — ^is universally ac- 
knowledged to have been a comparatively modern one. 
1 Thess. V. 1 to 1 1 . '' But of the times andthesea^ 
** sons, brethren^ ye have no need that I write unto 
**you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly, that the 
** day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, 

" 3. For when they shall say. Peace and safety, 

" then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as tra- 
*' vail upon a woman with child ; and they shall not 

escape. 4. But ye, brethren, are not in dark* 

** ness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 

•• 6. Ye are all the children of light, and the 

^* children of the day : we are not of the night, nor 

•* of darkness. 6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do 

** others; but let us watch and be sober. 7. For 
" they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be 
** drunken, are drunken in the night.— —8. But let 
** us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the 
"breastplate ofyatVAand love; and for an helmet, 
•* the hope of salvation.— —9. For Crod hath not ap* 
** pointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our 

•• Lord Jesus Christ, 10. Who died for us, that, 

** whether we wake or sleep, we should live together 
** with him. I !• Wherefore comfort yourselves to^ 

^* gether, and edify >)ne another, even as also ye do.* 

An ingenious game was the one thus played by 


%. 2. False Prophecy. 285 

Paul, if eyer there was one. Of tbb prophecy*, what 
when once mentioned, is plainly enough visible, is — 
this is of the number of those predictions, by which 
profit is put in for, and no loss risked ; for such is 
the shape given to it. So long as the predictor lived, 
it would remain good and undisfulfiUed : at the end 
of a certain time — namely, at tbe end of the life of the 
longest liver of the aggregate number of individuals 
in existence at that time, — the disfulfilment would 
indeed take place. But if, by that time, the predictor 
had made his exit, — as, m this case, being already of 
a eertain age, it is tolerably certain he would, — the 
reproach of fidse prophecy would not have reached 
him : and, even supposing it to have reached him, as 
it would do if he survived the last of them, still the 
speculation would not be a very bad one. His jiro* 
phecy would have been disfulfilled; but, in the mean* 
time, his purposes would have been fulfilled. 

Not altogether without claim to observation, is the 
manner, in which, by the adroitness of the sooth* 
sayer, the anxiety of questioners is evaded. That he 
himself does not know, nor ev^ expects to know,*-* 
this is what his prudence forbids his telling them. 
'< The day of the Lord so oometh as a thief in the 

* By the word prophecy the.idea meant to be conveyed in Jewish 
language seems to be very generally misconceived, ft is regarded 
as exactly synonymous to prediction. Nothing can be more erro- 
neous. In New Testament language in particular, it ia no less 
applicable to past events than to future. Witness^ '* Prophesy 
" who is it that smote thee.*' Lake xxii. 64. In the Greek, the 
word is the same as that which is all along applied to predictions. 
On that occasion, it meant evidently neither more nor less than 
epeak out. Hence it came to signify speaking in public : hence 
again, speaking as a statesman : hence again, writing as a stales- 
man, as well as speaking. Not tliat a statesman could ever or can 
ever be a statesman, and in the above sense, a prophet, without 
being a predictor likewise : as often as any proposed measure is 
on the carpet, such he must be, or what he says must be nothing 
to the purpose. Merely by uttering a prediction concerning future 

286 Ch. XII. Sknpk Falsehoods. 

" night* : ** this is what, in answer to former impor- 
tunities, he bad at thai time told them. <* For 70a 
*; yourselves (says he) know [this] perfectly ;** that is, 
in so far as they could know from his telling : this 
being, in this instance, the only source, — of that debi^ 
sion, to which he gave the name of knowledge. This 
he had told them then : and more, he takes care not 
to tell them now. ** Of the times and seasons, bre- 
•* thren," (says he) " ye have no need that I write unto 
^'youf.*' Meantime, their hopes and fears, and 
therewith their dependence upon his good pleasure, 
are kept still alive : in the first place, the hope — that, 
knowing already more than he as yet desires to dis- 
close, he may by ulterior obsequiousness be prevailed 
upon to disclose it: in the next place, the hope— that) 
though not as yet possessed of the information, be 
may at some future period be able to obtain it, and 
in that case give them the benefit of it. 

To a speculation of this sort, — ^in how particular a 
degree favourable the mode of communication by let- 
ter was, is sufficiently visible. Writing, was an ope- 
ration not quite so prompt, in those days as in these. 
Between Thessalonica and Athens, — from whence, as 
they tell us, these Episties were written, — ^there was 
not, it may be af&rmed without much danger of error, 
any established letter-post : and, even if there was, — 
to this or that question, which a man sees in a letter, 
he makes or does not make answer, as he finds con- 
venient. Not exactly so, when the questioner is at his 

events^ Paul would not have included^ in his prophecy, ^any such 
pretension, as that of a supernatural communication received from 
the Almighty: but, the one here In question was one which^ sup- 
posing it true, could not have come from any other source. 
* I Thess. V. 2, t 1 Thcss. v. 1. 

^. 3. Mtsckief/rom the Prediction. 287 



We have seen the prophecy : let us now see the ef- 
fects of it. They were such as might have been ex- 
pected. They were such as had been expected ; ex- 
pected, as may have been observed, at a very early 
period. But there was rather mare in them than had 
been expected. 

Of the confusion, which, by an expectation of this 
sort, in a state of society, so much inferior, in the 
scale of moral conduct, to any, of which in this our 
age and country we have experience, was capable of 
being produced, — it can scarcely, at this time of day, 
be in any man's power, to frame to himself any thing 
approaching to an adequate conception. So far as re- 
gards peaceable idleness, of the general nature of it^ 
some faint conception may under modem manners be 
formed, from the accounts of the effects produced by 
a similar prediction, delivered first in France, then in 
England, about the time of Queen Anne: — so far as 
regards a mixture of idleness and positive mischief, in 
a time of terror, under ancient manners, — from the ac- 
counts, given by Thucydides, of the effects produced at 
Athens, by the near approach of death, on the occasion 
•of the plague; — ^and, from that given by Josephus, of 
the effects produced by the like cause, on the occasion 
of the siege, which, under his eye, terminated in the 
final destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. 

According to each man's cast of mind, and the 
colour of the expectations that had been imbibed by 
it, — terror and self-mortification, or confidence and 
mischievous self-indulgence, would be the natural re- 
sult: terror and self-mortification, if apprehensions 
grounded on the retrospect of past misconduct predo- 

288 Ch. Xn. Simple FalsehootU. 

ininated — mischievous indulgence, if, by the alleged or 
supposed all-sufficiency of faith, — of faith, of which 
the preacher was the object, — the importance of mo- 
rality had, even in the imagination of the disciple, 
been thrown into the back-ground: confabulation 
without end, in the case of terror; cessation from work, 
in both cases. 

Had he been somewhat less positive on the head of 
/fW,*— the purposes of those announcements of his 
might have been completely, and without any deduc- 
tion, fulfilled. The terror he infused could not be unfiai* 
vourable to those purposes, so long as it made no de- 
duction , from the value of the produce of their industry ! 
It was bis interest, that they should ** walk hanestfy^ 
lest they should be puilished for walking otherwise: — 
punished, capitally or not capitally — ^and, in either case, 
bring his teaching into disgrace. It was his interest, that 
they should work^ in such sort, as to earn each of them 
the expense of his maintenance ; lest, by abstaining 
from work, they should, any one of them, impose a 
burthen upon the charity of the others, or be seen to 
walk dishonestly, to the prejudice of the common 
cause, as above. It was his interest, that th^ should, 
each of them, gain as much as could be gained withbut 
reproach or danger; because, the greater the surplus 
produced by each disciple, the greater the tribute, that 
could be paid to the spiritual master, under whose 
command they had put themselves. Thus far his in- 
terest and theirs were in agreement. But, it was his 
interest, that, while working to these ends, their minds, 
at the expense of whatever torment to themselves, 
should be kept in a State of constant ferment, between 
the passions of hope 9nd fear; because, the stronger 
the influence of the two allied passions in their breasts, 
the more abundant would be the contributions, of 
which, to the extent of each man's ability, they might 
reasonably be expected to be productive. Here it was. 

§. 3. Mischief from the Prediction. 289 

that his interest acted in a direction opposite to theirs: 
and it was by too ardent a pursuit of this his separate 
interest, that so much injury, as we shall see, was 
done to all those other interests. 

Of the disease which we shall see described, the 
description, such as it is, is presented, by the mat- 
ter furnished by the practitioner himself, by whose 
prescription the disease was produced. This matter 
we must be content to take, m that state of disorder, 
which constitutes one of the most striking features of 
the issue of his brain. In speaking of the symptoms, — 
addressed as his discourse is to nobody but the patients 
themselves by whom these symptoms had been expe- 
rienced,— only in the way of allusion, and thence in 
very general terms, could they naturally have been, as 
they will actually be seen to be, presented to view. As 
to details, — from them to him, not from him to them, 
was, it will readily be acknowledged, the only natural 

In the same Epistle, — namely in the second, which 
is the last, but, in a passage which does not come till 
after the announcement which, as will be seen under 
the next head, was to operate as a remedy, — stands 
the principal part of the matter, from whence we have 
been enabled to collect the nature of the disease. The 
chapter is the third and concluding one : — ^tlie words 
that add nothing to the information, are here and there 

1. " Finally, brethren, pray for us. . • • . — 2 

^< that we may be delivered from unreasonable and 
*• wicked men ; for all men have not faith. — 4. And 
** we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that 
*' ye both do and will do the things which we command 
•* you. — 5. And the Lord direct your hearts. • . .into 
" the patient waiting for Christ. -^Q. Now we com* 
** ma;2e/ you, brethren. • • AhdX ye withdraw yourselves 
**Jrom every brother that walketh disorderly ^ and not 


290 Ch. Xn. Simple Falsehoods. 

" after the tradition which he received of us. — 7. For 
^ yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we 
•* behaved not ourselves disorderly among you: — 8. 
*^ Neither did we eat any maris bread for nought: but 
** wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we 
" might not be chargeable to any of you. — 9. Not be- 
^* cause we have not power ^hnt to make ourselves an en- 
" sample unto you to follow us. — 10, For even when 
" we were with you, this we commanded you, that if 
** any would not work, neither should he eat. — 1 1 . For 
" we hear that there are sorne which walk amxn^ you 
" disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodtes. — 
'' 12. Now them that are such^tc^^ command and exhort 
*^ by our Lord Jesus Christ, that tvith quietness they 
** work, and eat their own bread. — 13. But ye, bre- 
" thren, be not weary in well-doing. — 14. And if any 
'^ man obey not our word by this Epistle, note that 
** man, and have no company with him, that he may 
** be ashamed." 

By any thing we have as yet seen, the symptoms of 
the disease (it may be thought) are not painted in any 
very strong colours. But, of the virulence of it there 
is no want of evidence. It may be seen, in the drastic 
nature of the remedy :— «« remedy, for the invention of 
which, we shall, in the next section^ see the ingenuity 
of the practitioner put to so extraordinary a stretch. 



We have seen the disorder: we had before that seen 
the causes of it. We now come to the remedy— the 
remedy provided by the practitioner for a disease of 
his own creating. Of the shape given to this remedy, 
the ingenuity will be seen to be truly worthy of the 

^. 4. Remedy. — AntichrUt created. 291 

author of the disease. It consists in the announcement 
made, of an intermediate state of things, of the com- 
mencement of which, any more than of the termina- 
tion, nothing is said : except that it was to take place, 
antecedently to that originally announced state of 
things, by the expectation of which the disorder had 
been produced. Of the time of its commencement, 
no : except as above, on that point no infonnation is 
given. But of its duration^ though no determinate 
information, yet such a description is given, a% suf- 
fices for giving his disciples to understand, that in the 
nature of things, it could not be a short one: and that 
thus, before the principai state of things took place, 
there would be a proportionable quantity of time for 
preparation. Satisfiea of this, they would see the ne- 
cessity of conforming themselves to those reiterated 
*' commands/* with which his prediction had from the 
first been accompanied; and to which he had so erro- 
neously trusted, when he regarded them as composing 
a sufficient antidote to the poison he had infused. 
That the warning thus provided for them would be a 
very short one, he left them, it will be seen, no great 
reason to apprehend. A sort of spiritual monster, — 
a sort of an ape of Satan, a rival to the Almighty,— « 
and. that by no means a contemptible one — was to 
enter upon the stage. 

What with force and what with fraud, such would 
be his power, — that the fate of the Almighty would 
have appeared too precarious, had not the spirits of 
his partizans been kept up, by the assurance, that when 
all was over^ the Almighty would remain master of 
the field. 

The time, originally fixed by him for the aerial 
voyage, was too near. By the hourly expectation of it, 
had been produced all those disastrous effects which 
had ensued. After what had been siud, an adjourn^ 
ment presented the only possible remedy. But thi^ 


292 Cb. XII. Simpie Falsehoods. 

adjournment, after what had been said, by what ima- 
ginable means could it be produced ? One only means 
was left by the nature of the case. 

2 Thess. ii. 1 to 1 2. 1 . " Now we beseech you, bre- 
** thren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 

" by our gathering together unto him, 2. That ye 

'' be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled^ neither 
** by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as front us *, 

" as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3. Let no 

'< man deceive you by any means ; for that day shaU 
" not come, ewcept -f there come a falling away first, 
** and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdi- 

** tion ; 4. Jvho opposeth and exalteth himself 

*' above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; 
" so that he as God sitteth in the temple of' God, 

^* showing himself that he is God\. 5. Remem- 

'' ber ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you 

" these things § ? 6. And now ye know what with- 

*' holdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. 

**7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: 
" only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken 

" out of the way. 8. And then shall that Wicked 

'* be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the 
'< spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the 

•* brightness of his coming ||. ^9. Even him, whose 

" coming is after the worlcing of Satan ^, xvith all 

* Here we have a sort of retractation. This shows how he was 

t Here he gives the intermediate warning; thence the respite. 

X Here we see the rival of Puul*s god : and we see how danger- 
ous an one. 

§ Like enough ^ but in the same unintelligible style, in which 
he telk all men all things. 

II Airs well that ends well: the friends of the Almighty may 
now dismiss their fears. 

If Here we see the rival of tlie Almighty sunk into the ape of 
Satan. What if he and Satan had made an alliance ? Happily 
they could not agree^ or time was wanting for settling the con- 

^. 4. Remedy — Antichrisi created.. 293 

** power afid signs and lying wonders*. 10. And 

** with all deceivableness of unrighieousness in them 
*' that perish ; because they received not the love of 

" the truth, that they might be saved. 1 1. And 

** for this cause Grod shall send them strong delusion, 

" that they should believe a lie-f-: 12. That they 

'* all might be damned^ who believed not the truth^, 
^* but had pleasure in unrighteousness.** 

To this rival of his Grod— God and rival — both of 
them of his own creation, the creator has not (we see) 
given any name. By this omission, he has, perhaps, 
as perhaps he thought to do, rendered the bugbear 
but the more terrible. The deficiency, such as it is, 
the Church of England translators of the English 
official translation of the Bible, have filled up: they 
have taken it in hand — ^this bantling of Paul's — and 
christened it Antichrist. **He** (Paul) ''showeth " (say 
they) " a discovery of Antichrist, before the day of the 
" Lord come." Such is the discovery, communicated 
in the heading, prefixt to the second chapter of the 
second of the two Epistles : and, of the readers of this 
so abundantly and gratuitously distributed Bible, how 

* All power, with lying to boot. But for the above-men- 
tioned assurance, who would not have trembled for Paul's God ? 

t This was fighting the ape of Satan with his own weapons. 
But — ^this God of Paul's creation — in what, except an ultimate su- 
periority of power, is he distinguishable from Satan and his ape ? 
Those, who have been so quiclui^hted of late in the dbcoverv of 
blasphemy, and so bent on punishing it, — ^have they ever found so 
clear a case as this which is before us ? Would not they have be- 
gun at the more proper end, had they begun with the editors of 
these Epistles ? 

X For this damnation,— on the present as on so many other oc- 
casions, those who are so eager to believe, that all who difler from 
them on a question of evidence, will be consigned to everlasting 
torments, are indebted to the right reverend translators : the ori- 
ginal says condemned. This may be understood to mean — damned 
in the ordinary s^nse of the word damned, or whatever less unplea- 
sant result may be more ngrceable. 

294 Ch. XII. Simpie Falsehoods. 

few are there, by whom any such distinction as that 
between the headings and the text is borne in mind! 
The right reverend divines in question, — were they 
the first authors of this discovery, or was it ready-made 
to their hands ? — made by that church, from the errors 
of which their own has been so felicitously purified ? 
To this question, let those look out for, and find, the 
answer,— in whose eyes the profit is worth the trouble. 

Not a few are the divines, who have discovered Anti- 
christ sitting in St. Peter^s chair, with a triple crown 
on his head. In the chair of Luther, or in that of 
Calvin, would the triple monarch be disposed to dis- 
cover the hobgoblin, if he thought it worth while to 
look for him. Has he ever, or has be not, made this 
discovery already ? 

*• Oh, but" (says somebody) " tve does not here 
** mean we only who are alive at this present writing; 
*' it means, we Christians of all ages : — any number 
^* of ages after this, as well as this, included. In the 
** designation thus given, neither the individuals he 
*'was addressing, nor he himself, were necessarify 
** comprehended." This accordingly, if any thing, 
must be said, or the title of the self-constituted Apo- 
stle, to the appellation oi false prophet^ must be ad- 
mitted. Oh yes! this may be said, and must be said: 
but what will it avail him? In no such comprehensive 
sense did he use it ; for, in that sense, it would not 
have answered his purposes : not even his spiritual 
and declared purposes, much less his temporal, self- 
ish, and concealed purposes. Why was it that these 
disciples of his, as well as he, were to be so inces- 
santly upon the watch ? 1 Thess. v. 6, 7, 8. Why, 
but because ** you yourselves" (says he, ver. 2) " know 
" perfectly, that the day of the Lord cometh like a 
*• thief in the night." Who, on that occasion, could 
be meant by we, but himself and them ? In no such 
comprehensive sense was it understood by iheni : if it 

^. 4. Remedy — Antichrist created. 295 

had been, no such consequences as we have seen fol« 
lowing, could have followed. After the experience he 
and they had had, of the mischief produced by the 
narrow sense put upon the all-important pronoun, 
would he have continued thus to use it in that same 
narrow sense, if it had not been his wish that in that 
same sense it should continue to be understood ? 
Would he have been at all this pains in creating the 
spiritual monster, for the declared purpose of putting 
off their expectation of the great day, if, but for this 
put-off, it would not have come on * P In what part 
of all his preachings can any distinct ground be seen 
for any such supposition, as that any portion of the 
field of iime^ beyond that by which his own life was 

* Of this child of the self-appNointed Apostle's brain> it seems 
not altogether improbable^ that^ in case of need, some further luie 
was in contemplation to be made : with the skin of this bugbear, 
mighty upon occasion, be invested, any person, to whom^ either in 
the character of a declared adversary, or in that of a rival, it might 
happen, to have become in a certain degree troublesome : a de- 
clared adversary, — that is, either a Gentile or an unbelieving Jew : 
a rival, — ^that is, one who, believing in the religion of Jesu8,adhered 
to that edition of it, which had the Apostles of Jesus for its pub- 
livhers, or followed any other edition which was not his : one of 
those, for example, upon whom we have seen him making sndi 
bitter war in his Epistle to his Galatians. Of the two, the believ<« 
ing rival would of course be much more troublesome, than the non- 
believing adversary, from whom, if let alone, he would not expe« 
rience any annoyance. Of this rival class were they whose "unrigh- 
*' teousness" (2 Thess. ii. 10) had recourse to '* deceivableness :** for 
as to non-believers, no need could they have of deceivableness ; 
to foil him, they had but to turn aside from him, and stand as they 
were. Those men, whose unrighteousness hsui recourse to de- 
ceivableness, who could they be, but the men of the same descrip- 
tion in this respect as those^ whom in chapter third of his EpisUe 
to his Gdatians, he complains of as having '' bewitched" them 5 
and that in such sort, as to have made him so far lose his temper 
as to call them "foolish : '* and that they were rivals, is a matter 
altogether out of doubt. In a word, rivals were the only trouble- 
some sort of men, who, at the writing of this Epistle, could, with 
the nameless monster since named Jntichrist, be yet to come. 

290 Ch. XII. Simple Falsehoods. 

bounded, was ever present to his view ? In the fidd 
of place, yes : in that field his views were of no small 
amplitude: for in that field it was by his ambition 
that they were marked out: but in the field of thne^ 
no symptoms of any the smallest degree of enlarge- 
ment will any where be found. But, on this occasion, 
suppose other ages, and those others to any extend 
included in his views : from their including such fu- 
ture ages, would it follow that they had no application 
to the age then present? — But, supposing them un- 
derstood to apply to that age, thereupon in comes 
the mischief in full force. 

Any man that has been reading these Ep]stles,^et 
him suppose, in his own breast, any the most anxious 
desire to raise an expectation, such as that in question: 
and then let him ask himself, whether it be in the 
power of that desire to suggest language, that would 
afford any considerably better promise of giving effect 
to it. 

Of the nature of the disorder, as well as of the 
cause of it, — the persons, to whom the world is indebt- 
ed for the preservation of these remains of the self- 
constituted Apostle, — ^have given us, as above, some 
conception. Of the e^eci of the remedy, it would have 
been amusing to be informed: unfortunately, this 
portion of his history is not comprised in the labours 
of his historiographer ♦. 

* As for that " helmtt of fcMh;' which, in the passage £nt 

Suoted, he has been seen commanding his disciples to put on— of 
[lat faith, which is the everlasting object of his so indefatigably 
repeated '* command,** and which is always faith in P(mh — for of 
Jesus scarcely is so much as a word, except the name, ito be found 
in any of his Epistles, — as to this helmet, it is the sort of cap, 
which a man learnt how to put on, when he had made himself 
perfect, in what may be called the self-decepiwe exercise, or in a 
word the ereidse of faith. It is composed of two very simple ope- 
rations : at the word of command, the recruit turns its face to the 

^. 4. Remedy — Antickmt created, 297 

argumeiits on one side ; at the word of command^ it turns its back 
to those on the other side. The test of perfection is — its being able 
to hold in its embrace, for an^ length of time, both parts together 
of a self-contradictoiy proposition; audi as, that three maii*«-jDer- 
<ofu,-*-(to use the German word,) or if any other $art$ of peri<ms 
there are three others^ — are but one. When the helmet sits close 
enough on his head to enable him to do this, there is no fear of 
its fe&ing off. Holding fast to improbabilities, how absurd and 
extravagant soever, is thenceforwud but child's play to him: — 
for example, belief in the future existence of Paul's Antichrist : 
including, the coming on of those scenes, in which that raw-head 
and bloody bones is to be the principal peiformer. 

To this, as to any thing else, the mind of man is capable of 
being brought, by assurances of infinite enjoyment, in case of his 
having made himself perfect in this exercise, or of infinite torment 
in case of his neglecting it : of course, still more effectually, bv 
both assurances put together ; and, considering the focility of both 
operations, easier terms coold not very easily be imagined. A ca- 
pital convenience is**-4hat, for producing faith in this way, not a 
particle of any thing in the shape of evidence is necess^ : the 
place of evidence is supplied by assurance: — b^ the intensity, real 
or apparent, of the persuasion, to which expression has been given, 
by what the preacher has said or done* Ine more intense the i^- 
parent assurance on the one part, the greater the apparent tqfeiy, 
obtained by yielding to it, on the other : and thus it is, that no abr 
surdity can be so flagrant, that the side on which it is found may 
not be embraced, under the notion of its being the safe side. When 
Paul, with his accustomed vehemence, was preaching ^e world's 
end, so many of his Thessalonians as believed in it, believed, that 
believing in it was being on the safe side. On the part of the 
preacher, the more vehement and impudent the assurance, the 
greater on the part of the disciple, the apparent darker on the 
disbelieving, the apparent safety on the believing side. 

By this means are produced the signs and wonders we read of 
in the Epistles of our modem missionaries 5 for, how conclusive 
soever the evidence maybe, which the assertions they employ 
might call in for their support,— conclusive to every reasonable 
mind by which it was received, — assuredly it is not by the evi- 
dence, but by the unsupported assertion, that, on the occasion of 
those exploits of theirs, — ^whatever credence has place, is produced. 

( 298 ) 

PauVs supposable Miracles esplained. 



But, it may be said, PauFs alleged coniinission from 
God was certainly genuine ; for it is proved by his 
miracles. Look at the Acts, no fewer than twelve 
miracles of his you will find. If then taken by them- 
selves, for want of that accurate conception of the 
probative form of evidence, to which maturer ages 
have given birth, the account of the miracle by which 
his conversion was wrought fails of being completely 
satisfactory, — look at his miracles, the deficiency will 
be filled up. The man, to whom God had imparted 
such extraordinary powers — powers so completely 
matchless in these our times, — can such a man have 
been a liar — an impostor ? a liar for the purpose of 
deceit— of giving support to a system of deception — 
and that a lucrative one ? An imposition so perse- 
vering as to have been carried on, from youth to 
death, through, perhaps, the greatest part of his life? 

The observation is plausible : — the answer will not 
be the less satisfactory. 

The answer has two branches : one, general^ ap- 
plying to all the alleged miracles in quest;ion, taken 
in the lump : the other pariicular, applying to the 
several miracles separately considered. 

Observations applying to the whole together are the 
following : 

1. Not by Paul himself, in any one of his own 

§. ]. General Caunier- Evidence. 290 

Epistles, is any such general assertion made, as that 
he had received from Grod or from Jesus, — or, in a 
word, that he ivas in possession of, any such power, as 
the power of working miracles. 

2. Nowhere in the account given of his transactions 
by the author of the Acts, is he in any of his speeches 
represented as making reference to any one act of his 
it) the character of a miracle. 

3. Nowhere in that same account, is he represent- 
ed as stating himself to be in possession of any such 

4. Not by the author of the Acts, is he spoken of 
as being in possession of any such power. 

5. Nowhere by the author of the Acts, is he in anv 
general terms spoken of, as producing any effects, sucn 
as, in respect of the power necessary to the production 
of them, approach to those spoken of as having been 
produced by Simon Magus ; by that declared impostor, 
in whose instance, no such commission from God is 
represented as having been received. 

6. Neither on the occasion of his conversion, nor 
on any other occasion, is Paul stated to have received 
from Jesus any such power as that of working mira- 
cles : — any such power as the real Apostles are — in 
Markxvi. 15, 16, 17» 18 — stated to have received 
from Jesus. 

Was it that, in his own conception, for gaining 
credence to his pretension of a commission from Je- 
sus — from Jesus, styled by him the Lord Jesus — any 
need of miracles, or of a persuasion, on the part of 
those with whom he had to deal, of his having power 
to work miracles ? By no means. Of the negative, 
the story told by him of the manner of his conversion 
is abundant proof. Of the efficient cause of this 
change in his mind, the account given, is plainly 
given in the character of the account of a miracle. 
But of this miracle, the proof given consists solely in 

300 Ch. XIII. PatdV Miracles. 

his own evidence: his own statement, unsapported 
by that of any other person, or by reference to that of 
any other person : his account, of the discourse, which 
on the occasion of the vision, in which nothing was 
seen but a flood of light, he heard from the Lord 
Jesus : his own account, of the vision, which he says 
was seen by Ananias : his own account, of that other 
vision, which, according to Ananias, he (Paul) bad had, 
but of which P^ul himself says nothing. 

In the work of his adherent and sole biographer, 
the author of the Acts^ — we have five speeches, made 
by him, in vindication of his conduct, in the character 
of a preacher of the religion of Jesus; and, from his own 
hand. Epistles out of number : yet nowhere is any re- 
ference made, to so much as a single miracle wrought 
by his own hand, unless the trance which he falls into 
when he is alone, and the vision which he sees, when 
nobody else sees any thing, are to be placed to the 
account of miracles. Miracles ? On him, yes; by bim, 
no. True it is, that^ on one occasion, he speaks in ge- 
neral terms of " signs and wonders,'* as having been 
wrought by him. But vague, in the highest degree, is 
the import, as well as wide the extent, of those general 
terms: nor is it by any means clear, that, even by him- 
self, any such claim was meant to be brought forward, 
as that of having exhibited any such manifestations of 
supernatural power, as are commonly regarded as de- 
signated by the word miracles. In the multitude of the 
persons, whom, in places so widely distant from one 
another, he succeeded in numbering in the list of bis 
followers — in the depth of the impression, supposed to 
have been made on the heart of this or that one of 
them— in all or any one of these circumstances, it 
was natural he should himself behold, and, whether he 
did or no, use his endeavours to cause others to behold, 
not only so many sources of wonder, but so many 
circumstances ; all conspiring to increase the quantity 

^. 1. General Counter -Evidence. 301 

of that confidence, which, with so much industry, 
and, as far as appears, with such brilliant success, he 
was labouring to plant in every breast: circumstances, 
serving, in the minds of his adherents in general, in 
the character of a sign or proof, of the legitimacy of 
his pretension, as above. 

But, of any such supernatural power as that which 
is here in question, could any such loose and vague ex- 
pressions be reasonably regarded as affording any sort 
of proof ? No : — unless whatsoever, in the affairs of 
men, can justly be regarded as wonderful^ ought also 
to be regarded as a miracle. 

In one passage, and one alone, either in the Acts or 
in his own Epistles, is he found laying any claim, how 
distant and vague soever, to any such power, as hav- 
ing ever been exercised by him. And, in this instance, 
tio one individual incident being in any way brought 
to view or referred to, what is said will be seen to 
amount absolutely to nothing, being nothing more 
than, without incurring any such interpretation as that 
of imposture, is at the present time continually averred 
by Christians of different sects. 

He who makes so much of his sufferings^ had he 
wrought any miracles, would he have made nothing 
oiYAs miracles? 

In the next place, although it must be admitted, 
that, on several occasions, by his sole biographer and 
professed adherent, viz. the author of the Acts, a sort 
of colour of the marvellous seems endeavoured to be 
laid on ; laid on over the incident itself, and over the 
part, which on that occasion was taken by him; yet on 
no one of these occasions, unless perhaps it be the last 
•*-of which presently,— does the account, given by him 
of what passed, wear any such complexion as shall ren- 
der it matter of necessity, either to regard it as mira- 
culous, or to regard the biographer, as having on that 
occasion asserted a complete and downright untruth. 

302 Ch. XIIL Pmil's Miraeks. 



BLiNDED.~^c^^ xiii* 6 to 12. 

1. Of these supposable miraclesy the first that oc- 
curs is that which had for its subjept Elymas the sor- 

At Paphos, in the island of Cyprus*, Paul and his 
associate Barnabas are sent for, by "the deputy of 
" the country,** Sergius PauUis, who desires to hear 
the word of God. But at that same place is a certain 
Jew, of the name of Baijesus, alias Elymas, — a sor- 
cerer by profession, who " withstood them, seeking to 
" turn away the deputy from the faith,*" To this man 
(it is not said, either where or when) P&ul is thereupon 
represented as making a short speech, at the end of 
which, after calling him a child of the devil, and so 
forth ; he says to him, " 7%ou shalt be blinds not 
" seeing the sun for a season. Thereupon,** (conti- 
nues the story) ** immediately there fell on him a mist 
" and a darkness ; and he went about seeking some to 
" lead him by the hand. Then the deputy," (it con- 
cludes,) " when he saw what was done, believed, b^ing 
'* astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.** 

Supposing this story to have had any foundation in 
fact,— of the appearance of blindness thus exhibited, 
where shall we look for the cause ? In a suspension 
of the laws of nature, performed by the author of na- 
ture, to no other assignable end, tnan the conversion 
of this jEloman governor? At no greater expense, than 
that of a speech from this same Pbul, the conversion 

^ [And they had also John to thek miniiter, xiii. 5.] What John 
was this > Answer^ see chap. xv. 37 to 40. This appears to have 
been that John^ whose surname was Mark, who was the caxise of 
the angry separation of Paul from Barnabas. 

^. 2. £/jfmM blinded. 303 

of a king, — King Agrippa — if the author of the Acts 
is to be believed, was nearly effected. *' Almost,** says 
Agrippa, *^ thou hast persuaded me to become a Chri- 
** stian/* So often as God is represented, as operating 
in a direct — however secret and mysterious — manner, 
upon the heart, t. e. the mind, of this and that man,— ^ 
while the accounts given of the suspension of the laws 
of nature are comparatively so few — (to speak in 
that sort of human language, in which alone the na- 
ture of the case admits of our speaking) if the expense 
of a miracle were not grudged, — might not, in the 
way above«mentioned, by a much less lavish use of su- 
pernatural power, the same effect have been produced? 
viz. by a slight influence, exercised on the heart of 
governor Paulus ? 

Whatsoever may have been the real state of the case,— 
thus much seems pretty clear, viz. that at this time of 
day, to a person whose judgement on the subject should 
have, for its ground, the nature of the human mind as 
manifested by experience,-*-another mode of account- 
ing for the appearance in question will be apt to pre* 
sent itself as much more probable. This is — that, by 
an understanding between Pbul and Elymas — ^between 
the ex-persecutor and the sorcerer— the sorcerer, in the 
view ot all persons, in whose instance it was mate- 
fial that credence should be given to the supposed mi- 
racle, — for and during " the season'' that was thought 
requisite, kept his eyes shut. 

The sorcerer was a Jew : — ^Paul was also a Jew. 
Between them here was already one indissoluble bond 
of connexion and channel of intercourse. Elymas, by 
trade a sorcerer, t. e. an impostor — ^a person of the 
same trade with Simon Magus, by whom so conspi- 
cuous a figure is cut in the chapter of this history — ^was 
a sort of person, who, on the supposition pf an ade- 
quate motive, could not naturally feel any greater re- 
pugnance, at the idea of practising imposition, at so 

304 Ch. Xm. PauFs Miracles. 

easy a rate as that of keeping his eyes shut, than at the 
idea of practising it, in any of the shapes to which he 
had been accustomed :-*^hapes, requiring more dexte- 
rity, and some, by which he would be more or less 
exposed, to that detection, from which, in the mode 
here in question, it would be altogether secure. 

But VwX — ^was he in a condition to render it worth 
the sorcerer's while to give this shape to his impos- 
ture ? Who can say that he was not ? Yes : if to a 
certain degree he had it in his power, either to bene- 
fit him or to make him puffer? And who can say but 
that these two means of operating, were one or other, 
or both of them, in his power ? As to the sorcerer's 
betraying him, this is what he could not have done, 
without betraying himself. 

True it is, that, by acting this under part, — this 
self*humiliating part, — so long as Paul staid« so long 
was the sorcerer, not the first, but only the second 
wonder-worker of the town. But no sooner did Paol's 
departure take place, than Elymas, from being the 
second, became again the first. 



CURED,— -r^C/^ xiv. 8 tO 11. 

Second of these supposed miracles, — cure of the crip- 
ple at Lystra* 

This miracle makes a bad match with the before- 
mentioned one. 

Seeing a man at Lystra (neither man's name, nor 
place's, except in that general way, nor time, in any way 
mentioned) — seeing a man in the guise of a cripple, 
" Stand upright on tkyfeet^ says Paul to him with 
a loud voice. " And" (continues the story) " he leap- 
*^ ed and walked, steadfastly beholding and perceiving 

^.3. Ai Lystra^ Cripple cured. 305 

that he had faith to be healed.** Chorus of the people 
thereupon, "The Gods are come down to U8 in the 
'Mikeness of men.*' 

To the production of an appearance of this sort, 
what was necessary P a real miracle ? No, surely : so 
long as a vagrant was to be found, who, without any 
risk, could act a part of this sort for a few pence, in 
an age so fertile in imposture. 

True it is, that this same man, whoever he was, 
is represented as being " impotent in his feet, being 
** a cripple from his mother's womb,, who never had 
•* walked." But these words, how much more than 
any other words, of the same length, in the same num« 
ber, did the writing of them cost the author of this 
story ? As to the correc<.ness of his narratives, — of 
the self-contradictory accounts given by him of PauFs 
conversion, a sample has been already given. As to 
detection, supposing this circumstance false,—- detec- 
tion is what the account thus given of it renders im- 
possible. For — this same cripple, what was his name ? 
from birth to this time, where had he been living ? Of 
this nothing is said. That, at Lystra, or any where else, 
the account was ever made public, is neither affirmed, 
nor so much as insinuated: not but that it might have 
been published, and, at the same .time, though as to 
every thing but the scene that exhibited itself to out* 
ward appearance, false^ — might not have found any 
person, at the same time able and willing to contradict 
the falsity, and thus naturalize the miracle. 



^c/^xvi. 16—18. 
While Paul and his suite, — of whom, according to the 
author of the Acts, he himself was one, — were at Phi- 
Uppi, — a Roman colony, and capital of a part of Ma- 

306 Ch. XIIL Paurs Miracles. 

cedonia, — among their hearers, is Lydia — a purple- 
seller of the city of Thyatira. Being converted, she 
receives the whole party into her house. 

From this house, in their way to prayers, — ^probably 
in a Jewish synagogue, — they are met by a certain 
damsel, as nameless as the lame^^born cripple, who, 
being possessed of a spirit of divination (or of Python), 
brings to her masters (for masters it seems she had 
more than one) much gain by soothsaying. Here 
then is a female, who, by being possessed by or with 
a spirit, — ^a real spirit, whether devil or a spirit of any 
other sort, — is converted into a prophetess, and, doubt- 
less, in the main a false prophetess. 

In the present instance, however, she is a true pro- 
phetess : for, following Paul and his suite, she runs 
after them, saying, " These men are the servants of 
** the Most High God, which show unto us the way of 
'' salvation. And this did she many days." 

If, instead of a demon, it had been an angel, that 
took her vocal organs for the instrument of his com- 
munications, it is difficult to say, in what manner he 
could have deserved better at the hands of these " ser- 
" vants,*' real or pretended, " of the Most High God." 

Yet, from some cause or other that does not appear, 
so it was it seems, — there was something about her 
with which Paul was not well pleased. '* Being 
" grieved, he turns and says," — not to the damsel her- 
self, but to the spirit, which possessed her^ or rather, 
since for the benefit of her masters, it brought her so 
much gain, which she possessed^ — " I command thee, 
" in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her." 

Amongst the superstitions of that and other ages, 
one was — the notion of a property, possessed by such 
and such words — possessed, by these mere evanescent 
sounds — by the air of the atmosphere, when made to 
vibrate in a certain manner: — ^a property, of working 
effects in endless abundance and variety, and those. 

^.4. At Philippic Divineress silenced. 307 

too, supernatural ones. In some instances, the won- 
ders would be wrought by the words themselves, 
whatsoever were the mouths by which they were ut- 
tered. In other instances, they required, for the pro- 
duction of the effects, a person, who being possessed 
of a particular and appropriate power, should, for the 
purpose of giving exercise to such his power, give 
them passage through his lips. Of this latter kind 
was the present case. The command issued as above, 
*• he (for it was a he-spirit) came out of her (the daiii- 
** sel) the same hour." 

When the devil that Josephus saw expelled*, came 
out of the man, the channel at which he made his exit, 
being manifest, it was accordingly specified: it was the 
man's nose. This was something; to know: especially, 
in relation to an occurrence, the tune of which was 
at so great a distance from our own. At the same 
time, however, other particulars present themselves, 
by which curiosity is excited, and for want of which, 
the information thus bestowed must be confessed to 
be rather imperfect. What the shape of the devil 
was ? what the substance ? whence he last came ? to 
what place, to what occupation, after being thus dis- 
lodged, he betook himself, and so forth : not to speak of 
many others, which howsoever instructive and satisfac- . 
tory it would have been to be acquainted with, yet now 
that all acquaintance with them is hopeless, it would 
be tedious to enumerate. 

In the present instance, not only as to all these 
particulars, has the historian,— «ye-witness as it should 
seem he was of every thing that passed, — ^left us in 
the dark ; but, neither has he vouchsafed to afford us 
that single article of information, scanty as it was, 
for which, as above, in the case mentioned by Jo- 

* Supra, Ch. 


308 Ch. XIII. Paul's Miracles. 

sephuSy we are indebted to Josephus : to Josephus — 
that most respectable and instructive of the unin- 
spired historians of his age. 

In relation to this story, as well as to those others, 
the same question still presents itself: — if told of the 

E resent time, — if spoken of in some newspaper, as 
aving happened in the present year,-— exists here any 
person, even among the most ignorant populace, with 
whom it would obtain any permanent credence ? 

But, a reported state of things — ^which, if reported as 
having had place in the present century, would, by its 
disconformity to the manifest state of things, and the 
whole course of nature, be regarded as too absurd and 
flagrantly incredible to deserve to be entitled to a mo- 
ment's notice,-— what is there that should render it more 
credible, when reported as having happened in this 
same world of ours, at any anterior point of time ? 


A" 53. 

The passage, in which these events are related, is in 
Acts, chap. xvi. ver. 19 to 4p inclusive. 

On this occasion three principal events are narmted ; 
— ^the incarceration of Paul, an earthquake, and the 
tiberation of Paul. Between the earthquake and the 
liberation of this prisoner, what was in reality the 
connexion ? In the answer there is not much difB- 
culty : The same as that between the earthquake and 
any other event that took place after it. But, by 
an answer thus simple, the purpose of the narrator 
would not have been answered : the purpose was — ^to 
induce, on the part of his readers, the belief— that 
it was for the purpose of bringing about the libe- 

^.5. At Philippic Earthquake- Liberation. 300 

ration of the self-constituted Apostle of Jesus, that the 
earth was made to shake. As to the liberation, by 
means altogether natural was that event produced: 
so he himself has the candour to inform us. Of this 
quasi-mirade, or of the last-mentioned one, Philippic 
capital of Macedonia, was the theatre. By order of 
the magistrates of that town, Paul and his attendant 
had been beaten one evening, and thrown into prison : 
next morning, came to the jailor an order of these same 
magistrates, and in obedience to it the prisoners were 
discharged. That, in the minds of these magistrates, 
there was any connexion, between the earthquake and 
the treatment they had given to these adventurers, is 
not so much as insinuated. The purpose, which it liad 
in view, was answered : it was the ridding the town of 
a pair of visitors, whose visit to it had produced dis- 
turbance to existing institutions. Acts xvi. 20 — 40. 

Be It as it may with regard to the historiographer, — 
that it was an object with his hero to produce a notion 
of a connexion between the stripes and the imprison- 
ment he had undergone on one hand, and the earth- 
quake on the other, is manifest enough. The person, 
in whose mind the prisoner had endeavoured to pro- 
duce the idea of such a connexion, was the jailor: and, 
for its having in this instance been successful, there 
seems little difficulty in giving credit to the historio- 
grapher. Every thing that appears to have been said, 
either of Paul or by Paul, tends to show the wonderful 
strength of his mind, and the facility and promptitude, 
with which it enabled him to gain the ascendancy over 
other minds. In the language of the place and time, 
he had bid the fortune-telling damsel cease her im- 
posture, and the imposture ceased. Acts xvi. 18. G)m- 
mitled to prison, he formed a project for making a pro- 
selyte of the keeper : and, in this too, and in so small 
a compass of time as a few hours, there seems reason 
to believe he was successful. In his presumption, in 

310 Ch. XIII. PauTs Miracles. 

daring to execute the sentence of the law upon so holy 
a person, the keeper saw the cause of the earthquake; 
and, whether by Paul any very strenuous endeavours 
were used to correct so convenient an error in geology, 
may be left to be imagined. Paul, when introduced 
into the prison, found no want of comrades: how then 
happened it, that it was to PauFs imprisonment that 
the earthquake, when it happened, was attributed^ and 
not to any of his fellow- prisoners? Answer : It hap- 
pened thus. 

Of the trade, which, with such brilliant success, 
Paul, — with this journeyman of his, — was carrying on, 
a set of songs with the name of God for the burthen 
of them, constituted a part of the capital, and, as it 
should seem, not the least valuable. When midnight 
came, Paul — the trader in godliness — treated the 
company in the prison with a duet: the other pri- 
soners, though they shared in the benefit of it, did not 
join in it. While this duet was performing, came on 
the earthquake ; and Paul was not such a novice as to 
let pass unimproved the opportunity it put into his 

The historiographer, if he is to be believed, was at this 
time in Paul's train, as well as Silas ; for so, by the 
word we, in the tenth verse of this same chapter, he, 
as it were, silently informs us. The beating and the 
imprisonment were confined to the two principals ; by 
his comparative insignificance, as it should seem, the 
historiographer was saved from it From the relation, 

fiven to him by Paul or Silas, and in particular by 
*aul, — must this conception, formed by the historio- 
grapher, of what passed on the occasion, have of course 
been derived. It was coloured of course in PauFs 
manner : and in his colouring, there was of course no 
want of the marvellous. By the earthquake, not only 
were '' foundations shaken ^ and ** doors opened,* but 
«• bands loosened." The *' feet** of the two holy men 

^.5. ^i Phiiippi, Earihquakc' Liberation, 311 

had been '' made. . . .fast in the stocks,** (ver. 24) : 
from these same stocks, the earthquake was ingenious 
enough to let them out, and, as far as appears, with- 
out hurt : the unholy part of the prisoners had each of 
them bands of some sort, by which they were con- 
fined; for (ver. 26) "every one*s bands were loosed:" 
in every instance if they were locked, the earthquake 
performed the office of a picklock. Earthquakes in 
these latter days, we have but too many : in breaking 
open doors they find no great difficulty ; but they have 
no such nicety of touch as the earthquake, which pro- 
duced to the self-constituted Apostle a family of pro- 
selytes : they are no more able to let feet out of the 
stocks, or hands out of hand-cuffs, than to make 

These elucidations being furnished, the reader is 
desired to turn to the text, and lay it before him : to 
reprint it would require more paper than he might 
choose to see thus employed. 

As to the name of God and the name of Jesus, the 
two names, it should appear, were not — on the occa- 
sions in question — used at random. When the fortune- 
telling damsel was the subject of PauFs holy labours, 
she having been in some way or other already gained 
(ver. 17)9 the case was already of a sort, in which the 
name of Jesus Christ, the name under which the self- 
constituted Apostle enlisted all his followers, — might 
be employed with advantage. When Paul and Silas 
were committed to prison, no such name as that of 
" Jesus Christ" would as yet have served. Of " Jesus 
Christ " neither had the keeper as yet heard any thing, 
nor had the other prisoners. But, of God, in some 
shape or other, they could not but have heard, all of 
them : God accordingly was the name, by which at 
this time the sensibilities of the persons in question 
were to be worked upon. When the earth trembled, 
the jailor trembled likewise : he *^ came trembling and 

312 Ch. XIII. Pouts Miracles. 

'' fell down" (ver. 29) before Paul and Silas. And 
brought them out (ver. 30) and Bald, ^' Sirs, what must 
'^I do to be saved ?*" Now then was the time come for 
the enlistment — for the enlistment in the spiritual 
warfare against the devil and his angels : in the as jet 
new name of " the Lord Jesus Christ** were these re- 
cruits accordingly enlisted, as now, for the purpose of 
carnal warfare, in the name of King George. ''And 
"they said,** (continues the narration, ver« 3i) ''Be- 
" lieve in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 
" saved, and thy house.** 



A°64.— ^c/^xviii. 7— 11. 
A VISION, being a species of miracle, could, no more 
than a pantomime, have place without some expenses 
In the present case, as in any other, a natural question 
is — ^What was the object to be accomplished, upoo 
which the expense — whatever it was — was bestowed? 
The answer is — ^The keeping his attendants, whoever 
they were, in the necessary state of obsequiousness : 
for no other is perceptible. To the dependants in 
Paul's train, it was no very uncommon sentimeot * to 
be not quite so well satisfied with the course be took^ 
as he himself was. Corinth was at this time the the* 
atre of his labours : of the men, whoever they wer^ 
who had staked their fortunes upon his^ some,*-4be 
historiographer, as it should seem, of the number,—* 
there were, whose wish it was to change the scene* In 
that Gentile city, — the chief rulfr of the Jewish syna* 
gogue, Crispus by name— this man, besides another 
man, of tbe name of Justus, '' whose house joined 

§.6. ^i CorifUhy OmifoTtvng Vision. 313 

" hard to ^ that same synagogue, had become his eon- 
verts : *' and many of the Corinthians hearing, be- 
lieved and were baptised."* Eyes, however, there were, 
in which the success, whatsoever it was, was not yet 
enough to afford a sufficient warrant for his stay. A 
vision was necessary, and a vision accordingly, or at 
least a something which was called by that name, 
made its appearance. ^* Thus spake the Lord," (says 
the historiographer, ver. 9.) '* Thus spake the Lord to 
'* Paul in the night by a vision. Be not afraid, but 

•* speak, and hold not thy peace: 10. For I am 

'* with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt 
"thee; for I have much people in this city." Nor 
was the vision without its effect; for, as the next verse 
informs us, (ver. 11.) "He continued /Arr^ a year 
" and six months, teaching the word of God among 
« them." 

That which, on this occasion, may be believed with* 
out much difficulty is, that the word thus taught by 
Paul was PauFs word : and, that which may be be* 
lieved with as little, by those, whoever they may be, 
who believe in his original conversion -vision, is — that 
it was God*s word likewise. From Paul himself must 
the account of this vision have been delivered to the 
historiographer : for, unless at the expense of a sort 
of miracle, in the shape of an additional vision at least, 
if not in some more expensive shape, no information 
of any auch thing could have reached him. In these 
latter days, no ghost is ever seen but in a Ute-h-Utei 
in those days, no vision, as far as appears, was ever 
seen but in the same degree of privacy. A vision is 
the vrord in these pages, because such is the word in 
the authoritative translation made of the historio- 
grapher's. That which Paul is related to have heard, 
IS — what we have just seen as above : but that, upon 
this occasion he saw any thing — that he saw so much 
as a flash of light, this is what we are not told : any 

314 Ch. XIII. Panics Miracles. 

more than by what other means he became so well 
assured, that the voice which he heard, supposing him 
to have heard a voice, was the Lord's voice. In these 
latter days, — ^inquiries, of some such sort as these, 
would as surely be put, by a counsel who were against 
the vision, — as, in the case of the Cock-lane Ghost, 
which gave so much exercise to the faith of the arch* 
lexicographer, were put by the counsel who were 
against the ghost ; but, by a sort of general under- 
standing, — than which nothing can be more conve- 
nient, — inquiries, such as these, — how strictly soever in 
season when applied to the 19th century of the vulgar 
ear, are altogether out of season, as often as they are 
applied to the commencement of it. 

As to the speaking by a vision, the only intelligible 
way in which any such thing can really have place, is 
that, which under the pressure of necessity has been 
realized by the ingenuity of dramatists in these latter 
days. Such is the mode employed, when the actors, 
having been struck dumb by the tyranny of foolish 
laws, and consequently having no auditors, convey to 
the spectators what information seems necessary, by 
an appropriate assortment of gold letters on a silk 
ground : whether the Lord who, on this occasion, ac- 
cording to Paul, spoke to the eyes of Paul, came pro- 
vided with any such implement, he has not informed 
us. Without much danger of error, we may venture 
to assert the negative : for, if such was the mode of 
converse, there was nothing but what might happen 
without sign or wonder : and, on this supposition, no 
addition was made by it, to those signs and wonders, 
which, as has been seen, it was his way to make ie« 
ference to, in the character of evidence. 

^.7. ^t Ephesus^ Diseases and Devils expelled. 315 



— y^c/jxix. 1—12. 

At Ephesus, Paul makes a stay of between two and 
three years ; for " two years" together, (Actsxix. 10.) 
" disputing daily" (ver. 9.) •• in the school of one 
" Tyrannus/' *• so that" (ver. 10.) " all they which 
'' dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, 
" both Jews and Greeks. 

"And God'* (continues the history, ver. 11.) 
•* wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul." 

These " special miracles," what were they ? Of the 
whole number, is there so much as a single one par- 
ticularized ? ' No ; not one. Special as they are, the 
following is the account^ and the only account given 
of them. " So that" (continues the history) " from 
*' his body were brought unto the sick, handkerchiefs 
** or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, 
" and the evil spirits went out of them." 

No circumstances whatever particularized, name of 
the person, name of the place, description of the time 
— nothing, by means of which, in case of falsity in 
ioio, or incorrectness in circumstance, the mis-state- 
ment might have been exposed, — to what degree of 
credence, or so much as consideration with a view to 
credence, vague generalities such as these, can they 
present so much as the slightest claim ? If allusions 
such as these are to pass proof, where is the impos- 
ture, to which proofs — proofs sufficient in number 
and value — can ever be wanting ? 

Opposed as Paul was, wherever he went, — ^by gain- 
sayers or persecutors, or both — somedmes successful, 
sometimes altogether unsuccessful, — sometimes in a 

316 Ch. XIII. Patd's Miracles, 

slight degree successful — in so much as any one occa- 
sion, either in this history, or in any one of his own 
numerous Epistles, do we find so much as a single one 
of these *^ special miracles,*^ anymore than of any other 
miracles, brought to view by him, or so much as al- 
luded to by him, in the character of proofs of the com- 
mission to which he pretended ? Answer: No, not 

Diseases cured, evil spirits driven out, by hand- 
kerchiefs and aprons I — by handkerchiefs and aprons 
brought from a man*s body ! Diseases cured and de- 
vils scared away by foul linen ! By Jesus — by any one 
of his Apostles — were any such implements, any such 
eye- traps ever employed ? No ; never. As to dis- 
eases, if by such means a disease had been propagated^ 
the case would have been intelligible enough. But 
what was wanted was a miracle: and this would have 
been no miracle. The price, received by the holy 
wearer for any of these cast-ofFhabiliments — ^the price, 
of the precious effluvia thus conveyed — ^by any such 
little circumstance, had it been mentioned, some light 
might have been cast on what was done. 

One thing, indeed, may be stated with some assu- 
rance : and this is — that, after a man, well or not well, 
had received one of these same dirty handkerchiefs, or 
of these same dirty aprons, no evil spirit in him was 

One other thing may also be stated with no less 
confidence: — this is that, infection out of the question, 
and supposing Paul free from all contagious disease, 
if, without handkerchief or apron, the disease would 
have had its exit, — by no such handkerchief or any 
such apron was the exit of it prevented. 

Note, that all this time, according to this man (the 
author of the Acts), he himself was in Paul's auite. 
Yet, taking credit for all these miracles — taking crc- 

§.8. At Ephesus, Ea^orcisis bedeviled. 317 

dit thus for miracles out of number, not so much as 
one of them all does he take upon himself to particu- 




SCEVAS BEDEVILED. ActS xix. 13 20. 

Thus it is that, as under the last head has been ob- 
served, of all these alledged successful exhibitions, not 
so much as a single one is particularized. 

In lieu, hoveever, of these successes of Paul's, some- 
thing of a story to a certain degree particularized vee 
have. But this is — what ? a successful performance of 
Paul's ? No : but an unsuccessful attempt of certain 
persons, — here termed exorcists,— who took upon 

* Another branch of his trade, already mentioned in this same 
chapter, as having been carried on by him in this same place, 
namely, Ephesus, — and which, where circumstances created a de- 
mand for the article, appears to have been more profitable than 
that of expelling devils or diseases, — ^is that, of which the Holy 
Ghost was the subject. This power of conferring— that is to say, 
of being thought to confer — the Holy Ghost,— such, and of sudi 
sort was the value of it, that Simon Magus, as there may be occa- 
sion to mention in another chapter, had, not less than one-aad- 
twenty years before this, orcred the Apostles money for it. 
(Actsviii. 18 — ^24, A''34.) This power, two preceding verses 
of the same 1 9th chapter, namely the 5th and 6Ui, represent Paul 
as exercising : and, whatsoever was the benefit derived, twelve is 
Uie nimber of the persons here spoken of as having received it. 

Acts xix. 5-^7. After ** they " (the above twelve (v. 7.) disci- 
ples, V. 9.) " were baptized (v. 5.) in the name of the Lord Jesus /' 
when Paul (v. 6.) " had liud his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost 
'' came on them ; and they spake with tonp;ues, and prophesied." 
Here then, if, by thus laying on of hands, it is by Paul that any ope- 
ration is performed, it is the conferring of '* the Holy Ghost." But 
this power, whence had Paul received it ? Not from Jesus, had the . 
self-canstituted Apostle received this gift, whatever it was, any 
more than he had baptism, by which ceremony, as ^>pear8 front 

318 Ch. XIII. PauPs Miracles. 

themselves to act against hitn in the character of com- 

Welly then : when the time came for demonstrating 
supernatural powers by experiment, these exorcists — 
these impostors, no doubt it was intended they should 
be deemed — made a very indifferent hand of it. Grood : 
but the true man, Did he go beyond these same im- 
postors.^ Not he, indeed: he did not so much as at- 
tempt it. But, let us hear his historiographer, who 
all this while was at his elbow. Acts xix. 13^ — 20. 
" Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, look 
'* upon them to call over them which had evil spirits, 
•*the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you 
" by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth. 

" And there were" (continues the narrative, v. 14.) 
" seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, 
" which did so.'* Thus far the narrative. 

The sons of the chief of the priests ? Such men 

Acts viii. 1 6, it was regularly preceded : as in the case of the ma- 
gician it actually had been. Not from Jesus : no such thing is any 
where ao much as pretended. Not from the Apostles, or any erf* 
them ; from two, for example, by commission from the rest — as in 
the case of Peter and John (Acts viii. 14 — 19.): — ^no such thing is 
any where so much as pretended. In no such persons could this — 
would this — their self-declared superior, have vouchsafed to ac- 
knowledge the existence, of a power in which he had no share. On 
this occasion, as on every other, independently of the Apostles did 
he act, and in spite of the Apostles. 

As to the ** speaking with tongues and prophesying, these are pre- 
tensions, which may be acknowledged without much (tifficalty. 
Tongues are the organs most men speak with. Ab topraphesymg, 
it was an operation that might as well be performed after the fact 
as before the fact: witness in Luke xxii. 64, *' Prophesy, who is it 
that smote thee ?" Read the Bible over from beginning to end, a 
prophet, whatever else be meant, if there be any thing else meant, 
you will find to have been a politician: to prophesy was to talk pa^ 
Utica, Make a new translation, or (what would be shorter) a I'lsi 
of corrigenda, and instead of pntphet put politician, — a world of la- 
bour, now employed in explanations, will be saved. 

§.8, At Ephesus^ Exorcists bedeviled. 319 

styled not only exorcists but vagabonds ? If they are 
not here, in express terms, themselves styled vaga- 
bonds f at any rate, what is here imputed to them is the 
doing those same things, the doers of which have just 
been styled, not only exorcists^ but at the same time 
vagabonds. But let us continue, '* And the evil spi- 
*' fit (v. 15.) answered and said, Jesus I know, and 

"Paul I know, but who are ye? 16. And the 

'* man, in whom the evil spirit was, leapt on them 
" and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so 
** that they fled out of that house naked and wound- 
** ed,** Thus far the narrative. 

To whatsoever order of beings the hero of this tale 
may have belonged ; — whatsoever may have been his 
proper appellative, — a man with two natures, one hu- 
man, the other diabolical, — a man with a devil in him, 
a madman, — or a man in his sound senses counterfeit- 
ing a diabolized man or a madman, — the tale itself is 
sparely an eminently curious one. Of these human or 
superhuman antagonists of his — of these pretended 
masters over evil spirits- the number is not less than 
seven : yet, in comparison of him, so feeble and help- 
less are they all together, that he not only masters 
them all seven, but gets them down, all seven toge- 
ther, and while the} are lying on the ground in a state 
of disablement, pulls the clothes off their backs: but 
whether one after another, or all at the same time, is 
not mentioned. Be this as it may, hereupon comes a 
question or two. While he was stripping any one of 
them, what were the others about all that time ? The 
beating they received, was it such as to render them 
senseless and motionless ? No: this can scarcely have 
been the case ; for, when the devil had done his worst, 
and their sufferings were at the height, out of the 
house did they flee, wounded as they were. 

" Jesus I know, and Paul I know,'* says the myste- 
rious hero, in the fifteenth verse. Hereupon an obser- 

320 Ch. XIII. PmiTs Miracles. 

vation or two calls for utterance^. Supposing hirn a 
man/ who, knowing what he was about, counterfeited 
the sort of being, who was half man, half devil,— one 
half of this speech of his, namely, Paid I know ^ may 
without much difficulty be believed. But, upon this 
supposition, forasmuch as he acted with so much ef- 
fect against these rivals of Paul's, — a supposition not 
less natural, to say the least of it, is— that to Paul he 
was not unknowh, any more than Paul to faim : in a 
word, that on this occasion, between the evil spmt and 
the self-constituted Apostle, a sort of understanding 
had place. Be this as it may, how extraordinary a 
person must he not have been, to undertake the com* 
ptete mastery of seven men at once ! seven men, all 
of them young enough to have a father, not only living, 
but officiating as a priest : and at the same time, all 
of them old enough, if not to exercise mastery over 
evil spirits, at any rate to undertake it ! 

In Paul's suite, all this time, as far as appears, was 
the author of this narrative. The scene thus exhibited 
— was he then, or was he not, himself an eye-witness 
of it ? On a point so material and so naturaJ, no light 
has he afforded us. 

Another circumstance, not less curious, is — that it 
is immediately after the story of the unnamed nnihi- 
tudes, so wonderfully cured by foul clothes, — that tins 
story of the devil-masters discomfited by a rebellious 
servant of theirs, makes its appearance. Turn itow 
to the supposed true devil-master — on this score, what 
was it that he did ? Just nothing. The devil, — ^and a 
most mischievous one he was, — he was doing all this 
mischief : — the man, who had all such^ devils so com- 
pletely in his power, that they quit possession, and de- 
camp at the mere sight or smell of a dirty handkerchief 
or apron of his ; — he, though seeing all this mischief 
donc,^-done by this pre-eminently mischievous as well 
as powerful devil, — still suffers him to go on; — and not 

^.8. At Ephesus, Eworcists bedeviled. 321 

any the least restraint in any shape, does heimpose upon 
him ; but leaves him in complete possession of that re« 
ceptacle, which, according to the narrative, he wanted 
neither the power nor the will to convert into an in- 
strument of so much mischief. Was it from Paul him-* 
self, that, on this special occasion, for this special 
purpose, namely, the putting down these presumptu- 
ous competitors, this mysterious being received so ex- 
traordinary a gift? This is not said, but not impro- 
bably, as it should seem, this was the miracle, which 
it was intended by the historian should be believed. 

Occasions there are — ^and this we j^re desired to be- 
lieve was one of them — ^in which th^ impossibility of a 
thing is no bar to the knowledge of it. 

"And this was known** (continues the narrative, 
V. 17.) "And this was known to all the Jews and 
" Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus : and fear fell on 
" them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was mag-* 

Now, supposing this thing known, the fear stated 
as the result of it may without difficulty be believed : — 
fear of being treated as those sons of the chief of the 
Jewish priests had been : fear of the devil^ by whom 
those, his unequal antagonists, had been thus dealt 
with : fear of the more skilful devil-master, under 
whose eye these bunglers had been thus dealt with. 

But the name here said to be magnified — ^the name 
of the Lord Jesus — ^how that came to be magnified: 
in this lies all the while the difficulty, and it seems no 
small one. 

The name^ on this occasion, and thus said to be em- 
ployed, whose was it ? It was, indeed, the Lord Jesus*s. 
But was it successful ? Quite the contrary. It made 
bad worse. In the whole of this business^ what was 
there from which the name of Jesus could in any 
shape receive magnification.^ Yes: if after the so emi- 
nently unsuccessful use, thus made of it by those exor- 


322 Chi XIII. PauPs Miracles. 

cists, a successful use had, on the same occasion, been 
made of it by Paul. But, no : no such enterprise did 
he venture upon. Madman, devil, counterfeit mad- 
man, counterfeit devil^ — by proxy, any of these he was 
ready to encounter, taking for his proxy one of his 
foul handkerchiefs or aprons : any of this sort of 
work, if his historiographer is to be believed, he was 
reitdy enough to do by proxy. But, in person ? No ; 
he knew better things. 

'* And many that believed ** (concludes this part of 
the narrative, v. 18) '' came and confessed, and ahow' 
** ed their deeds. *• Yes ; supposing there were any, 
by whom all this or any part of it was believed, — ^that 
they spoke and acted in consequence, may be believed 
without much . difficulty : and, with this observation 
may the story, and the sort of elucidation endeavour* 
ed to be given of it, be left to close. 


BURNT BY THE OWNERS. ActS xix. 19, 20. 

Such as it was, the supposable miracle last-mention- 
ed H'as not without its supposed fruit : destruction of 
property, such as it was — destruction of property, and 
to an amount sufficiently wonderful for the satisfaction 
of any ordinary appetite for wonders. But let us see 
the text. It follows in the verse (19) next after that, 
in which mention is made, as in the last preceding 
section, of what was done by the *' many who be- 
lieved.'* i 

**Many of them also,** (v, 19) which used curious 
** arts, brought their books together, and burned them 
'* before all men ; and they counted the price of them, 
** and found }t fifty thousand pieces of silver. ' So 

^. 9. Magical Books bumL 323 

"mightily (v. 20.) grew the woi'd of God, and prevailed.*' 
And there ends the story of the books of curious arts. 

As to the sum total, nothing can be more precise: 
as to the items, could the list of them be but pro^^ 
duced, this would be indeed a treasure. As to the de- 
nomination magical^ given in the title of this section to 
those books, styled books " of curious arts,** — ^inthe 
text, short is the only apology that need be made for it. 
Of the number of those curious arts could not, most 
assuredly, have been any of the arts included at pre- 
sent under the name oifine oris; of the character of 
the arts here designated by the appellation of curious, 
a sufficient indication is afforded, by the story, by 
which the mention of them is, as above, immediately 
preceded. They were the arts, by which effects were 
undertaken to be produced, such as the self-consti- 
tuted apostle undertook to produce by so much more 
simple means« How vast soever were the collection, 
what would be the value of it, — the whole taken to- 
gether, — when so much more than could be done by 
every thing which it professed to teach, could be done 
by about a score or a dozen words, on the single con- 
dition, that the lips by which they were uttered were 
properly commissioned lips, not to speak of the still 
more simple operatioix of the touch of a used hand- 
kerchief ? 

Of the state of art and science in the wake of the 
great temple of Diana, the representation here given 
is of itself no small curiosity. Books of curious arts 
—all of them arts of imposture-^books, employed, all 
of them, in teaching the most secret of all secrets — 
books of this description, so well known to all men, 
as to bear a market-price! a market-price, so weU 
known to all men, as if it were the price of bread and 
butcher's meat : and, in the single town of Ephesus, 
these books so numerous,--^uch the multitude or the 
value, — or rather the multitude as well as value, of 

y 2 

324 Ch.XIII. PatiTs Miracles. 

them taken in the aggregate, that the price» that had 
been given for such of them as were thus given up, 
and which are only part, and, as it should seem by 
the word many^ not the larger part, of the whole num- 
ber, of those, which, at that same place, were at that 
same time in existence, — was, upon summing up, 
found actually to amount, so we are required lo be- 
lieve, to that vast sum. 

Of the aggregate, of the prices that had been paid, 
we are told, for this smaller part of the aggregate 
number of the books, then and there existing on this 
single subject, — inadequate, indeed, would our concep- 
tion be of it were we to regard it as not exceeding the 
value of the whole library collected by King George 
the Third, and given by his successor to the English 
part of his subjects. Data^ though not for numera- 
tion, yet sufficient for conception, are by no means 
wanting. To consult Arbuthiiot, or any successor 
of his, would be mere illusion : in so far as the value 
of money is unknown, prices in money serve but to 
deceive. History — and that the most appropriate 
history — has furnished us with much surer grounds. 
Thirty pieces of silver (Matt, xxvii. 3 to 10) was the 
purchase-money, of the field, called the potters^ fiM^ 
bought for a burying-ground, with the money received 
and returned by the traitor Judas, as the reward for 
his treacheiy. Suppose it no more than half an acre. 
What, in English money of the present day, would be 
the value of half an acre of land in or close by a closely 
built metropolis ? A hundred pounds would, assu- 
redly, be a very moderate allowance. Multiply the 
hundred pounds by fifty thousand, you have five mil- 
lions; divide the five millions by thirty, you have, on 
the above supposition, 1 66,666/. and odd for the value 
of the sebooks. Look to the English translation, look to 
the Greek original, the pieces of silver are the same. 

^. 10. Eutychus resuscitated. 325. 




In this story may be seen another example, of the faci* 
lity with which, when men are upon the hunt for mi« 
racks, something may be made out of nothing : the 
most ordinary occurrence, by the addition of a loose 
word or two, metamorphosed into a miracle. 

Paul, one evening, was treating his disciples with 
a sermon : he was at the same time treating them, or 
they him, with a supper. The architecture of the 
bouse was such, that, under favourable circumstances, 
a fall might be got from the top of it, or thereabouts, 
to the bottom, without much difficulty. If any diffi* 
culty there was, on the occasion in question it was 
overcome. According to circumstances, sermons pro- 
duce on different minds different effects : from some, 
they drive sleep; in others, they produce it. On the 
occasion in question, the latter was the effect experi- 
enced by a certain youth-. His station is represented 
as being an elevated one : — so elevated, that, after the 
fall he got from it, it may be believed without diffi* 
culty, he lay for some time motionless. Paul "went 
''down'' to him (we are told) and embraced him. 
The youth received the embrace ; Paul, the praise of 
tender-heartedness : — this is what may be asserted with 
a safe conscience, though it be without any special 
evidence. Trifling, however, is the boon he received 
from that congregation, in comparison of what he has 
been receiving from so many succeeding ones-^the 
reputation of having made so brilliant an addition to 
the catalogue of his miracles. By the accident, what- 
ever may have been the interruption, given by it to 
the festivity, no end was put to it. Sermon and sup- 
per ended, the rest of the congregation went their way; 

326 Ch. XIII. Patirs Miracles. 

and with them went the youths to whom had any 
thing serious happened, the historian would scaicely 
have left us uniniormed of it 

On this occasion, between the hero and his histo- 
rian, there is somewhat of a difference. The historian 
will have it, that when Paul reached the body he found 
it dead. Paul's own account of the matter is the 
direct contrary: so the historian himself informs 
us. Here then the historian and his hero are at 
issue. But, the historian, having the first word, 
makes, if we may venture to say so, a rather un- 
fair advantage of it, and by this same first word 
gives a contradiction to what he makes his hero say 
in the next. ** He was taken up dead," says the his- 
torian, who was or was not there : '' His life is in 
•* him," says the preacher, who was there beyond dis- 

But let us see the text. 

ACTS XX. 7—12. 
7. An^ upon the first day of the week, when the disdples came logedier 
to break bread, Paul preached unto them; ready to depart on ilie monaw^ 
and continued hit speech till midnight. 8 » And there were many light! in 
the upper chamber, where they were ga.:.ered together.— 9. And thei«nt 
in a window a certain young man named Eutjrchus, being fallen into a deep 
aleep : and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell 
down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.— la And Paul went 
down, and fell on him, and embracing hi|n, aaid, Trouble not yourselTO^ !br 
his life is in him.— ^11. When he therefore was come up agioin, and had 
broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so be 
Smarted.— 12. And t^ey brought the young man alive, and were aota 
a little comforted. 

At this time of day, any such contrariety might 
produce some embarrassment ; but, when it is consi- 
dered how long ago the thing happened, no such un- 
easy sensation is experienced. A supposition, by 
which all embarrassment is excluded, is so immediately 
obvious, as to be scarce worth mentioning. When 
F^ul reached the body, the soul was already in the 
other world ; but, with the kisses ^oes a whisper, and 
the soul comes back again. Whether frpm indolence 

§. 1 1 • Paul ctmiforied by an Angel. 32/ 

or from archness, there is something amusing, in thci 
course the historian takes for enlivening his narration 
with these flowers: he sketches out the outline, but 
leaves it to our imuginations to fill it up. 




ACTS xrfii. 20—25. 

20. And when neither sQn nor stars appeared for many days, and no nnall 
tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be preserved was thenceforth taken 
away.— —21. But after long abstinence Paul stood in the midst of tliem, and 
aaidy Sirs, ye should liave hearkened to nie, and not have loosed from Crete, 

iNit have prevented this harm and damage. 82. And now I exhort you to 

be of good courage : for tliere shall be no loss of life among you, but of the 

ship, there sha/l be loss. 23. For there stood by me this night an ansel of 

that God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, 24. fear not, Bui], 

thou mutt be broufffat before Cssar ; and to, God hath graciously given to 
Oiea all who sail witti thee.— 'i5. Wherefore, Sirs, be t>f good courage s for 
I believe God, that it will be as it hath been *Jd me. 

The sea being stormy, the crew are alarmed. The 
storm, however, is not so violent, but that Paul is 
able to make a speech, and they to hear it. To keep 
up their spirits, and, at the same time, let them see 
the sort of terms he is upon with the Almighty, he 
tells them a story about an angel. The angel had been 
sent to him upon a visit, and was but just gone. The 
business of the angel was to quiet the mind of the 
Apostle. The matter had been settled. The precious 
life was in no danger i and, not only so, but, out of 
compliment to him, God had been pleased to grant 
to him the lives of all who were happy enough to be 
in his company. 

In the situation, in which so many lives are repre- 
sented as being placed, — no very severe condemnation 
can easily be passed upon any little fraud, by which 
they might be saved. But, is it really to be believed. 

328 Ch, XIII. PauTs Miracles. 

that this angel, whom, in a deckless vessel (for the ves- 
sels of those times were not like the vessels of present 
^times) noperson but Paul either saw or heard, was really 
sent express from the sky by God Almighty, on such an 
errand ? If not, then have we this additional proof, — 
if any additional proof can be needed, — to help to sa- 
tisfy us, — that, where a purpose was to be answered, 
falsehood, or as he would have called it fying^ was not 
among the obstacles, by which Paul would be stopped, 
in his endeavours to accomplish it. 




A FIRE of Sticks being kindled, a reptile, here called 
a viper, is represented as " coming out of the heat," 
and fastening on Paul's hand. On beholding this in- 
cident, — '* the barbarous people,'* as the inhabitants are 
called, whose hospitality kindled the fire for the relief 
of the shipwrecked company, concluded that P^ul was 
a murflerer : and were, accordingly, in expectation of 
seeing him '^ swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly." 
Nothing of this sort happening, their next cooclnsaon 
was, thai he was a God. As such, did these barba* 
rians, as did the civilized inhabitants of Lystra, sacri- 
fice to him, or in any other way worship him ? No: 
these conceptions of theirs reported, there the atcuy 

Of this story, what is to be made ? At this tiaic of 
day, among Christians in general, what we shcmld ex- 
pect to find is, that it passed for a miracle. But, if by 
miracle is meant, not merely an accident, soinewhat 
singular and extraordinary, — ^but, by a special act of 

§. 12. yiper shaken off by Paul. 329 

Almighty power, an effect produced, by means dis- 
conformable to the uniform course of nature,— it 
might be too much to say, that even by the reporter 
himself, it is for the decided purpose of its being taken 
for a miracle, that it is brought to view. 

If, however, the design was not here, that the inci- 
dent should be taken for a miracle, — the story amount- 
ed to nothing, and was not worth the telling. But, if 
it is to be made into a miracle) where is the matter in 
it, out of which a miracle can be made ? 

The reptile — was it really a viper ? Neither the bar- 
barians of Malta, nor the reporter of this story, nor in 
a word, at that time of day, any other persons what- 
ever, were either very complete or very correct, in their 
conception of matters belonging to the field of natural 
history. At present, reptiles are crawling creatures. 
At this time of day, when leeches are excepted, to 
fasten upon the part they have bitten is not the prac- 
tice with any reptiles that we know of. If, instead of 
viper, the Greek word had been one that could have 
been translated ^ecA,— the story would have been pro- 
bable enough, but, were it only for that very reason, 
no miracle could have been made out of it. Shaken 
down into the fire, that is, into the burning fuel, — a 
small reptile, such as a leech, how brisk soever in the 
water, would be very apt to be overpowered by the 
heat, before it could make its escape : with a reptile 
of the ordinary a2e of a viper, this would hardly be 
the case. » 

Be thb as it may, " he fek,** — so says the story, — 
*' he felt no harm.** How came it that he felt no 
harm ? Because the Almighty performed a miracle 
to preserve him from harm ? So long as eyes are open, 
eauaes out of number-^causes that have nothing won- 
derful in them — ^present themselves to view before this. 
'*The beast,** as it is translated, <' was not a viper :"* — if 
really a viper, it happened, at that moment, not to 

330 Ch.XIII. Paurs Miracles. 

be provided with a competent stock of venom : it had 
already expended it upon some other object: — by 
some accident or other, it had lost the appropriate 
tooth. Not to look out for others, — any mind that was 
not bent upon having a miracle at any price, would 
lay hold of some such cause as one of these, sooner 
than give itself any such trouble as that of torturing 
the incident into a miracle. 

To bring under calculation the qt^antity of super- 
natural power necessary to the production of a given 
effect is no very easy task. At any rate, — without more 
or less of expense in a certain shape, nothing in that 
way could ever be done. In the case here in question, 
what could have been the object of any such expense.' 
Was it the saving the self-constituted Apostle the 
pain of a bite ? The expense then, would it not have 
been less — the operation, so to speak, more economi- 
cal — had a slight turn been given to Paul's hand, or to 
the course of the reptile ? But, in either case, neither 
would the name of the Liord, nor — what was rather 
more material — that of his Apostle, have received that 
glorification which was so needful to it. 

Any such design, as that of gi^'ing an unequivocal 
manifestation of Almighty power, such as should stand 
the test of scrutiny, testifying the verity of PauFs com- 
mission to the end of time, — any such design could 
the incident have had for its final cause ? A more equi- 
vocal, — a less conclusive, — ^proof of the manifestation 
of supernatural power, seems not very easy to imagine. 

Here then comes once more the so often repeated 
conclusion : — ^the narrative began to be in want of a 
miracle, and the miracle was made. 

In those days, among that people, miracles were so 
much in course, that without a reasonable nomber of 
them, a history would hardly have obtained credence: 
at any rate it would not haveobtained readers, and with- 
out readers no history can ever obtain much credence. 

§. 13. Publius's Father cured. 331 



**In the same quarters*" (says the story — it follows im- 
mediately upon that of the viper) *'In the same 
*' quarters were possessions of U)e chief man of the 
^* island, whose name was Pubiins, who received us and 

•* lodged us three days courteously. 8. And it came 

«< to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, 
*' and of a bloody flux, to whom Paul entered in and 
** prayed, and laid his hands on him and healed him. 

*' 9. So when this was done, others also which 

** had diseases in the island, came and were healed. 

*' 10. Who also honoured us with many honours, and 
** when we departed, they laded [us] with 'such things 
** as were necessary.*^ 

Of the fevers, which, within the compass of any given 
spot, and any given space of time, have place, it almost 
always happens, that a certain number go off of them- 
selves. Of, perhaps, all sortsof fever, — at least of almost 
all sorts at present known, thus much is agreed upon by . 
all physicians: — ^they have at least two regular courses, 
one of which terminates in death, the other or others 
in recovery. Supposing the person in question to 
have had a fever, — ^what is pretty clear is — that, ilqfit* 
^eif It would have taken a favourable termination, there 
was nothing, in the forms employed by Paul, viz. ut- 
terance of prayers and imposition of hands, that could 
have any natural tendency to cause it to take an un- 
favourable one. 

But — the course afterwards taken by the fever, was 
there any thing in it to distinguish it from the ordi- 
nary favourable course ? If not, in that case, so far 
from miraculous^ there is nothing that is so much as 
wonderful in the case. 

332 Ch. XIII. Paufs Miracles. 

Note here two things — the narrator one of the 
party ; the narrative so loose and uncircumstantial. 
But to see is one thing ; io narrate^ another. 

Three days, it seems, and no more, did Paul and his 
suite stay at the house of this Publius. Was it during 
that time, or not till afterwards, that Paul performed 
on him those ceremonies, of which healing is repre- 
sented as having been the consequence ? Was it with- 
in that same space of time, or not till afterwards, that 
the healing is supposed to have taken place.' As to the 
English wx)rd healings it cannot be accused of being 
indecisive. But in some languages they have words, 
by which a very convenient veil is thrown over the re- 
sult. In the languages in question, for the endeavour 
to heal, whether successful or unsuccessful, the word 
employed is the same. The Latin affords one of these 
convenient words, viz. euro. ITie Greek has another, 
tcururo, and in the Greek original of this history, this 
is. the word employed. '^ 

In a case where a ceremony, and nothing else, is 
trusted to, it being supposed that the patient really 
has the disease, the safe and prudent course is, so to 
• order times and seasons, that between the time of 
performing the ceremony, and the time at which re- 
storation to health is expected to take place, the time 
shall have come for the practitioner to have shifted 
quarters ; for, in this case, this is an interval more or 
less considerable, during which it being taken for 
granted that the desired result will take place of course, 
reward, in the shapes of profit and honour, will pour 
in upon the scientific head. 

Here, as elsewhere, not only no symptevM are par- 
ticularized, but no place is mentioned : no ^me is 
particularized, no persons are mentioned mpercipieni 
witnesses: even the individual who was the subject of 
the cure is not mentioned by name. 

As to the givers of the supposed honours and pre- 

§. 13. Publius's Father cured. 333 

sents— persons are indeed mentioned: — mentioned, 
but no otherwise than by the name of others. One 
individual alone is particularized: particularized as 
having received the benefit of these ceremonies. This 
is the father of Publius. This man, to use the phraseo- 
logy of the passage, was also healed. But — this man, 
who was he? He was no less a person than the father 
of the chief man in the island. Well then, what are the 
honours, what the allotment of " such things as were 
" necessary P" What were the proofs of gratitude, af- 
forded by this man, who was so much better able to 
afford such presents, than any of those other persons 
cured ? By such proofs of remuneration, some evi- 
dence — some circumstantial evidence, — supposing 
them exhibited at a proper time, would have been af- 
forded, in proof of the reality of the service. But, 
neither by the person thus spoken of as healed, nor 
by his son — the chief man in the island, — is it said that 
any such proofs were afforded. For such a silence 
when the case of an individual was brought to view, 
coupled with the express declaration made, of gifts pre- 
sented by persons unnamed, — three cases cannot but 
present themselves, as being any one of them more 
probable, than that, on this occasion, a real miracle was 
performed. One is — that there was no disease, perhaps 
no such person : another is, that though there was a 
disease, it went off of itself j the third is, that it never 
went off at all. 

One thing may be asserted without much fear of 
contradiction : and that is, that in this country, if in 
terms such as these, accounts were insei*ted in the pub- 
lic prints; — accounts of diseases cured without medi- 
cine; — diseases cured, by nothing but words and gesti- 
culations; — though the accounts given were ever so nu- 
merous, not the smallest notice would they be thought 
worthy of, — not the smallest attention would they re- 
ceive from any one, unless it were for the joke' sake. 

334 Ch. XIII. Paurs Miracles. 

What is more, — numerous are the publications, in 
which, encompassed with circumstantiality in alt man- 
ner of shapes, not only the names of the fortunate pa- 
tients are mentioned^ but under the signatures of those 
pifctients declarations made, assuring the public of the 
xeality of the cure, — and yet, when at the same time, by 
competent persons, due inquiry has been made, it turns 
out after all that no such cure has been performed. 

Accounts, which would not be believed were they 
to come out at a time of so widely diffused knowledge, 
are they to be believed, merely because the time they 
belonged to, — ^facts and accounts together, — was, as 
to all such matters, a time of universal ignorance ? 
The less a man understands the subject, the more 
firmly is be to be believed, as to everything he says of 
it ? Or is it that, between then and now, tmen and 
things have undergone a total change ? and, if so, 
when did it take place ? 


conclusion: the supfosable miracles classed 

and summed up. 
Inferences, — conveying more or less of instrucdon, 
— may, perhaps, be found deducible, — at any rate our 
conception of the whole series taken together, will 
be rendered so much the clearer, by bringing the same 
supposed marvels again under review, arranged in the 
order of time. 

For this purpose, the time may be considered as 
divided into three periods. ' 

In the first are included— those, which are repre- 
sented as having had place during the time when at 
the outset of his missionary expedition, Paul had Bar- 
nabas for his associate. Of these there are two, viz- 
1. At Paphos, A^ 45, Sorcerer Elymas blinded. 

^. 14. The Miracles summed up. 335 

2. At Lystra, A°. 46, cripple cured. Of this part of 
the expedition^ the commencement, as in the current 
account, placed in the year 45. 

In the second period are included — ^those, which are 
represented as having had place, during the time when 
Paul, after his separation from Barnabas, had Silaa 
for his associate, and the unnamed author of the Acts 
for an attendant. This ends with his arrival at Jeru* 
salem, on the occasion of his fourth visit — the Inva- 
sion Visit. 

In the current accounts, this event is placed in the 
year 60. Within this period, we have the seven fol- 
lowing supposed marvels : 1. At Philippi, A^. 53, di« 
vineres ssilenced. 2. At Philippi, A^. 53, earthquake: 
Paul and Silas freed from prison. 3. At. Corinth, 
A^. 54, Paul comforted by the Lord in an unseen vi- 
sion. 4. At Ephesus, A^ 56, diseases and devils ex- 
pelled by Paulas foul handkerchiefs. 5. At Ephesiis, 
A^* 55, Exorcist Scevas bedeviled. 6. At Ephesus, 
A®. 56, magic books burnt by the owners. 7. At 
Troas, A°. 59, Eutychus found not to be dead. 

In the third period are included — those which are 
represented as having had place, in the interval be- 
tween his forced departure from Jerusalem for Rome, 
and his arrival at Rome. 

In the current accounts, this event is placed in the 
year 62. Within this concluding period, we have the 
following supposed marvels: 1. On shipboard, A^. 62, 
Paul comforted by an angel. 2. At Malta, A^. 62, 
a reptile shaken off by Paul without his being hurt. 
3. At Malta, A*'. 62, Deputy Publius*s father cured 
by Paul of some disorder. Year of all these three 
last marvels, the same as that of Paul's arrival at 
Rome. Total number of supposed marvek, twelve. 

To the first of these three periods belong two sup- 
posed marvek, which, supposing them to have any 
foundation in truth, present themselves as bejng, in 

336 Ch.XIII. Paul's Miracles, 

a greater degree than most of the others, ex^sed to 
the suspicion of contrivance. A moderate sum, greater 
or less according to the state more orless flourishing 
of his practice, might suffice to engage a sorcerer, for 
a few minutes or hours, to declare himself struck 
blind : a still more moderate sum might suffice to 
engage an itinerant beggar, to exhibit himself with 
one leg tied up, and after hearing what was proper to 
be heard, or seeing what was proper to be seen, to 
declare himself cured. 

This was the period, during which Pbul had Bar- 
nabas, or Barnabas Paul, for an associate. In these 
cases, if fraud in any shape had place, — ^it is not with- 
out reluctance, that any such supposition could be en- 
tertained, as that Barnabas — the generous, the con- 
ciliating, the beneficent, the persevering ^rnabas — 
was privy to it. But, times and temptation considered, 
even might this supposition be assented to, on rather 
more substantial grounds, than that which stands in 
competition with it : namely, that for the production 
of two effects,— ^comparatively so inconsiderable, and 
not represented as having been followed by any deter- 
minate effects of greater moment, — the ordinary course 
of nature was, by a special interposition of Almighty 
power, broken through and disturbed. 

Is it or is it not a matter worth remarldng — that, of 
all these twelve supposed occurrences, such as they 
are, — in not more than four is the hero represented, — 
even by his own attendant, historian, and panegyrist,-^ 
as decidedly taking any active part in the production 
of the effect.^ These are — ^the blinding of the sorcerer, 
the cure of the cripple, the silencing of the divineress, 
the curing of Deputy Publius's father : the three first, 
at the commencement of this supposed woader-work* 
ing part of his career ; the last,-^with an interval of 
fifteen years between that and the first, — at the very 
close of it. In the eight intermediate instances^ either 

§.14. The Miracles summed ttp* 337 

the eifect itself amounted to nothing, or the hero is 
scarcely represented as being instrumental in the pro- 
duction of it. These are — the being let out of prison 
after an earthquake had happened — being comforted, 
whether by God or man, in a vision or without one — 
having handkerchiefs, by which, when he had done with 
them, diseases and devils were expelled — being present 
when a gang of exorcists were beaten and stript by ft 
devil, whom they had undertaken to drive out of a man 
— being in a place, in which some nonsensical books 
were burnt by their owners — being in a house, in 
which a youth said to be dead, was found not to be so 
— being comforted by an angel, who had the kindness 
to come on board ship uninvited — shaking ofFa reptile, 
without being hurt by it. 

Whatever store may be set at this time of day upon 
all these, marvels, less cannot easily be set upon them 
by any body than was by Paul himself. For proof, take 
the whole tenor of his own Epistles, as well as the whole 
tenor of his visions, as delivered by his attendant. 
Numberless as were the scrapes he got himself into,— ^ 
numberless as were the hosts of enemies he everywhere 
made himself, — open as all ears were to every thing 
that presented itself as marvellous, — unable as men 
were to distinguish what could be done from what could 
not be done, — pressing as was at all times the need he 
had of evidence, that could arrest the hands of enemies, 
— on no occasion do we find him calling in to his aid, 
so much as a single one of all these supposed irrefra- 
gable evidences. 

( 338 ) 

Acts^ pari fal^e^ part true: Auikornot Saint Luke. 



In regard to tlie Acts, a notion^ generally, not to 
say universally, received, is — that it had Saint Luke 
for its author : and that, accordingly, it may with pro- 
priety be regarded as a continuation of the Gospel of 
that Evangelist, written by the same hand. Were 
this conception a correct one, whatsoever shock were 
given to the credit of the Acts, would unavoidably ex- 
tend itself to the Gospel history : at any rate, to that 
part of it which bears the name of Luke. 

Before this chapter is at an end, — the reader, if the 
author is not much mistaken, will not only be con- 
vinced that that opinion is untenable, but see no small 
ground for wondering, how by any person, by whom 
any survey had been taken of the two objects in that 
point of view, any such notion should ever have come 
to be entertained. 

Another memento, of which, if made before, even 
the repetition may in this place, perhaps, be not with- 
out its use, is— that, from nothing that is here said, 
is any such conception meant to be conveyed, as that 
the history called The AciSy is from beginning to end, 
like that of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History ofBri- 
taifiy a mere falsity. In a great part, perhaps even by 
much the greatest, it is here looked upon as true : in 
great part true, although in no inconsiderable part in- 

^. 1. Oospel not affected. 339 

correct, to say no worse : and, in particular, on every 
point, on which the colour of the marvellous is visible. 
As to the sort and degree of evidence due to it, one 
general assumption there is, by which the whole of 
this inquiry has, from first to last, been guided. This 
is — ^that, in relation to one and the same work, what- 
soever be the subject of it, credence may, without in- 
consistency or impropriety, by one and the same per- 
son, be given and withholden : given, on this or that 
occasion ; withholden, on this or that other occasion : 
given, in so far as the truth of the contents seems 
probable ; withholden, as far as it seems improbable. 
For the support of this assumption, — all that, on the 
present occasion, can be offered, is — an appeal to uni- 
versal experience. As to the general foundations of the 
law of evidence, — for any excursion into so wide an ex- 
panse, neither this chapter nor any other part of this 
work would, it has been thought, be generally regard- 
ed as a proper place. What had been written on that 
subject has accordingly been discarded. 




In the first place then. Saint Luke cannot have been 
the author of the Acts. 

The reason is very simple. In respect of the time 
between Jesus's resurrection and his ascension, — the 
one of these narratives gives one account, the other, 
another account: and, so wide is the difference between 
the two, that by one and the same person they could 
not have both been given. According to Saint Luke, 
tRe time during which^ after his resurrection, and before 
his ascension, Jesus was seen by his disciples, extend- 


34 (T Ch. XIV. Acts not Lukes: some true^ 8fc. 

ed not beyond 072^ day : according to the Acts» it ex- 
tended as far z& forty days. By Saint Luke, that the 
time was not more than a day, is not indeed said in so 
many words ; but upon examination of the text, it will 
be found, that, consistently with the particulars given, 
no longer duration can be assigned to it. In the Acts, 
that the time, during which he continued showing 
himself after \\\% passion^ (Acts i. 3*) to the Apostles, 
was ^^ forty days^^ is affirmed in those very words. 
• The point here in question, be it observed, is not 
truths but consistency: not the truth of either of the 
two accounts; but their consistency, the one with the 
other : and, instead of consistency, so palpable is the 
inconsistency, that the conclusion is, — ^by no one man, 
who did not, on one or other of the two Occasions, in- 
tejid thereby to deceive, can both of them, morally 
speaking, have been penned. 

Now for the proof. First, let us hear Saint Luke: 
it is all of it in his last chapter — the 24th. In 
verse 10, mention is made of certain women, three 
named, others not named. In verses 2 and 3, ** they 
"entered in" (it is said) to "the sepulchre,** (v. 2.) 
" and found not the body of the Lord Jesus." In 
v. 9, " they returned'*(it is said) " from the sepulchre, 
" and told all these things to the eleven, and to all 
*• the rest.*' Thereupon it is, that, of all them, " two** 
(v. 13) of whom Cleopas (v. 18) was one, "went 
" that saine day to Emmaus, which was fronx Jeru- 
"salem about sixty furlongs: and while they com- 
" muned together," it was that "Jesus (v. 15) drew 

* As to the word passion, that by this word could not have been 
meant the same event as that denoted by the word resttiT«c<ioii, 
ciannot but be acknowledged. But, with regard to the ailedged 
inconsistency, this distinction will not be fouad to make any dif- 
'terence : for, as will be seen, it is not till after his resurrectipn, 
that, by Saint Luke, Jesus is represented as having begun to show 

^. 2. Time between Resurrection 8f Ascension. 34 1 

** near, and went with them," whereupon between him 
and them a conversation therein reported, ensued. 
The conversation, — the same conversation, as report- 
ed in verses from 16 to 27, — continues till their ar- 
rival at the village, (v. 28) namely, Einmaus, as per 
v. J 3. According to the next verse (v. 29), "the 
** day,** namely, that same day, " being far spent," at 
that same place, ** he went in to tarry with them,** 
they having " constrained him," Then also it is, that 
(v/ 30) "he sat at meat with them:" and (v. 31) 
•* they knew him, and he vanished out of their sight.'* 
Moreover, "at that same hour" it is (v. 33) that 
** they returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven 
*• gathered together, and them that were with . them, 
** saying, (v. 34) The Lord is risen indeed, and hath 
•* appeared unto Simon." Then it is also, that {v. 36) 
they reporting what had passed, " as they thus spake, 
** Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith 
** unto them. Peace be unto you." Thereupon follows 
a conversation, reported in verses from 37 to 49, in 
the course of which he (v. 43) "did eat before them-" 
Then it is, that, immediately after the last words, 
which (in v. 49) he is stated to have uttered, come 
these words, (v. 50) " And he led them out as far as 
** to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed 
** them. And it came to pass," (says the next verse, 
v. 51) " while he blessed them, he was parted from 
** them, and carried up into heaven. And they wor- 
** shipped him," (continues the next verse, v. 52) 
** and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." And, 
with the next verse, which says, " they were continu- 
" ally in the tenople, praising and blessing God," — the 
chapter, and with it the Gospel, ends. 

So much for Saint Luke. Now for the author of 
the Acts,, chapter i. verse 3, " To whom,*' (says he) 
namely the Apostles, (v. 2) " he" (namely Jesus, v. i) 

345 Ch. XIV. Ads not Lukes: smne irue, 8fc. 

** showed himself alive after his passion by many in- 
** fallible proofs, being seen of them Jbrty days. . . .** 

Thus while, according to the author of the Acts, 
the time — during which Jesus was seen by the persons 
in question was not less thanybr/y days, — according to 
Saint Luke, the whole time, during which this same 
Jesus was seen by those same persons, was not more 
than ofie day. And who was this historian, who, on 
the supposition of the identity, speaking of this all- 
important scene, on one occasion says, that it lasted 
no more than one day ; and, on another occasion, pro • 
fessing (Acts i. 1) to be giving continuance to such 
his former discourse, declares, in so many words, that 
it lasted " forty days ?" It is Swnt Luke, one of the 
Apostles of Jesus ; — one of the eleven, before whose 
eyes, every thing of that which has just been read, is 
stated as having passed. 

With all this before him, does the editor of the 
edition of the Bible, called Scholey's Bible, in a note 
to the commencement of the Acts, very composedly 
assure us, that '^ from its style, and other internal 
" marks, it is evidently the production of Luke T quot- 
ing for his authority, Bishop of lincoln s £/emenis 
of Christian Theology^ vol, 4, Who this same Bi- 
shop of Lincoln was, by whose Elements of Christian 
Theology, instruction such as this is administered, 
let those inquire, in whose eyes the profit of the in- 
quiry promises payment for the trouble. From any 
Buch particular inquiry, the profit will perhaps appear 
the less, the greater appears the probability, that, in 
the minds of all Bishops, — from the first that ever com- 
mitted his instructions in theology to the press, down 
to those by whom the Christian world is illuminated 
at this present writing, — the same sort of discernment, 
or the same sort of sincerity, has all along had place. 

When 20,000/. a year—or though it were but 20/. 

^. 2. Time beiween Resurreetwn Sf A^xetmon. 343 

once told — or, though it were but salvation from ever- 
lasting torment — is to be gained ; gained, by the per- 
ception, that two men, the one of whom writes in point- 
blank contradiction to the other, are one and the same 
man, — the task is not, naturally speaking, of the num- 
ber of those, by the performance of which much won- 
der need be excited. 

The sort of improvement, made by the author of the 
later history, upon tlie account given in the earlier, 
has now been seen. Would any one wish to see the in- 
ducement ? He will not have far to look for it. For 
makine the impression, which it was his desire to 
make,— the one day, allotted to the occurrence by one 
of th#*company, was not, in the estimation of the ano- 
nymous writer, sufficient. To render it sufficient, he 
calls in the powers of arithmetic: he multiplies the 
one by forty ; and thus, to the unquestionable satis- 
faction of a host of mathematicians, — Barrow, New- 
ton, and so many other mathematical divines (not to 
speak of Locke) of the number — ^thus is done what is 
required to be done : thus, by so simple an operation, 
is the probative force of the occurrence multiplied 

^ * In chapter XII. of this work, section 1, notice has already 
been taken, ^f a similar operation as having been performed by 
Paul himself: of the improvement made in <Aa< case, the subject 
was the number of the witnesses : according to the real Apostle, 
who was one of the company, the number (as we have seen) was 
eleven, and a few more : this number, whatever it was, the self- 
constituted Apostle, who knew nothing about the matter, took in 
hand, and multiplied till he had raised it to ^ve. hundred. Thus, 
with or without concert, with like effect,— and it is almost needless 
to say, with the same ol^ect, and from the same inducement, — magr 
be seen the master and the journeyman, working on different oc- 
casions, but with well-matched industry, at the manufacturiog of 
evidence. Add now together the residts of the two operations, 
and note the aggreffate. Number of witnesses, according to t^uke, 
9ay,--4br the s Ae: of round numbers,— twenty ; though there «eems 
little reason to suppose it so great : addition made to it by Paul, 

344 Ch. XIV. Aeis not Lukes: some true, Sfc. 


Thus far, the embellishments, made by our anonymous 
artist, have had for their groqnd the work of the ori- 
ginal hand : meaning always Saint Luke, with whom 
the common error has identified him. Here comes 
an instance, in which the whole is altogether of hi^ 
own workmanship. This is the story of the ** two 
" men in white apparel,** by whom, what, in his eyes, 
were the deficiencies in the instruction offered by Jesus 
to the witnesses of his ascension, may be seen sup- 
plied. ^ 

Still the same delicacy as before : by his own hand 
no miracle made : only a quantity of matter, fit for 
this purpose, put into the hands of readers ; and to 
their imagination is left a ta^k so natural and so agree-! 

Scarcely, after finishing his instructions to his Apo- 
stles, has Jesus ceased to be visible to them, when, if 
Acts is to be believed, "two men in white appareP — 
two men, to whom none of them were known, and by 
whom none of them were known, make their appear- 
ance, and from nobody knows where. But these same 
two men in white, who were they? ** Oh !" says iW-t 
gination, (for the hints we have already seen given to 
her are quite sufficient,) "Oh!** (says Imagination) 
" they were angels. Think for a moment, and say 
" what else they can have been. Had they been men, 

480. Number of days,— during which, as above, they cootinued 
seeing and hearing what they saw and heard, — ^accoiding to Saint 
Luke, but one : according to Paul's attendant, 40. Multiply to- 
gether the two improvements, that is to say, the 480 by the 40, 
you have 19,200 for the sura total of probative force, added by the 
arguments of the author of the Acts to the amount of the original 
quantity, as reported 1)y Saint Luke. 

^. 3. Ascension — Acts versus Luke. 345 

** could they have been thus unknowing and unknown ? 
" could their appearance have been thus sudden ? not 
*^ lesB sudden than the vanishing of a spirit ? not to 
" speak of the beautiful white clothes you see they 
" had, — and would they have been thus dressed ? To 
" believe them men, would be to believe in direct con- 
" tradiction to Saint Luke ; for, in his account of the 
** matter; as you may see, from first to last, not two 
** men were there in the whole party, that were not , 
** in the most intimate manner known to each other. 
'* But though, by Saint Luke's account^ so decided a 
" negative is put upon all men-strangers, yet nothing 
•^ is said about angels. Angels, therefore, they may 
" have been, — you may venture to say they were : and 
** the report made by all persons present, remains ne- 
" vertheless uncontradicted." 

"Another proof, that they cannot have been men, 
" and that therefore they were angels. Of these beings, 
** who were then unknown to all the company, what 
♦* was the errand ? It was no less than the giving to 
" the whole company of the companions of Jesus,—* 
** of that Jesus, by whom, after giving to them such 
•* instructions as he thought fit to give to them, they 
*• had but that moment been left, —the giving to them 
** some other instructions, which he had not thought 
** fit, or else had forgot, to give to them. But, as by 
*♦ no menrstrangers could any such conceit have been 
*^ entertained, as that, by the party in question, any 
*' such instructions would be listened to, — -so, by no 
" men-strangers can it be that any such instruc- 
*' tions were given :-r-an additional proof that they 
" cannot have been anything but angels." Thus readily 
does the imagihation of the reader, answer with her 
logic, the call given to her by the imagination of the 

Angels if they were, they appear not to have been 
very knowing ones. Sent, for the purpose of giving in- 

346 Ch. XIV. Ads not Lukes: some true, 8fc. 

formation, — and such information, nothing of that 
which was known to all those* to whom they came to 
give it, — nothing, if they themselves are to be be- 
lieved, was known to them. Addressing themselves 
to the company — the company whom Jesus had but 
that moment left, — " Whom saw ye going up " (say 
they, V. 11.) **into heaven?" Then comes the in- 
formation, which Jesus, on his departure, Jesus (we 
are expected to believe) has not thought fit, or else 
had forgot, to give. " This same Jesus," (say they, 
V. U.) "which is taken up from you into heaven, 
" shall 80 come in like manner as ye have seen him go 
" into heaven." Here we have the information, and 
— they to whom it was given, — what can they have 
been the better for it ? — *' Shall so come." Yes : but 
when and where, and to what end, and what to do ? 
points these, as to all which, the information is alto- 
gether mute. 

One other proof is yet behind. What has been 
seen as yet is in the first chapter. The tenth of his 
eight and twenty chapters is not finished, where, 
speaking in agreement with Saint Luke, he now dis- 
agrees with himself. On this occasion, it is by the 
mouth of Peter that he speaks. •* God " (he makes 
Peter say. Acts x. 41.) " God showed him" (Jesus) 
•* openly." — Showed him (let any body ask) and to 
whom ? " Not (says he) to all the people, but unto 
** witnesses chosen before of God, even to us who 
** did eat and drink with him after he rose from the 
♦* dead." Thus again it is, thatjor any men-strangers, 
not a particle of room is left. But, for angela^ eon- 
sidering the materials they are made of, no quantity 
of room can be insufficient : therefore, bnce more^ no- 
thing can these men have been but angek. 

( 347 ) 


Law Report. — Jews versus Paul: Trials five ^ with 



On the occasion of what passed at the Temple, the 
report of a great law-case, — to speak in modern and 
English language, — the case of The Jews against 
Pavly was begun. The judicatory before which he 
underwent that trial, — partly before the Jewish mul- 
titude, partly before the Roman chief by whom he was 
rescued, — was a sort of mixed and extempore judica- 
tory, something betwixt a legal and an illegal one : 
for, as has been seen in the case of Saint Stephen, 
and as may be sqen in the case of the woman taken 
in adultery, and moreover, in the body of the law 
itself, a sort of mob^law might, not altogether with- 
out ground, be stated as forming part and parcel of 
the law of Moses. To this sort of irregular trial, suc- 
ceeded, before the definitive judgment was pronounced, 
no fewer than four others, each of tliem before a tri- 
bunal, as regular as any the most zealous supporter 
of what is called legitimacy could desire. In execution 
of this definitive judgment it was, that Paul was sent, 
on that half-forced, half-voluntary expedition of his, to 
Rome : at which place, on his arrival at that capital, 
the Acts history closes. Of the reports of these se- 
veral trials, as given in the Acts, — follows a summary 
view, accompanied with a few remarks for elucida- 

248 Cb. XV. Jews v. Paul.— Five Trials. 



Scene, the Temple. Judges, prosecutors, and — stated 
as intended executioners, a Jerusalem multitude. Sole 
class, by whom any declared or special cause of irri- 
tation had been received, the Christianized Jews, pro- 
voked by PauFs preachings against the law of the land, 
to which they as yet maintained their adherence ; by 
his intrusion upon their society, by which, were it 
only for his former persecution, he could not but be 
abhorred ; and by the notorious perjur}'he was at that 
moment committing, having chosen to commit i^ 
rather than cease to obtrude upon them the object of 
their abhorrence. 

Of the particulars of the accusation nothing is said : 
but, the above circumstances, and the subsequent 
charges made upon him the next day by the consti- 
tuted authorities, — who immediately took up the mat- 
ter, and carried on a regular prosecution against him, — 
sufficiently show, what, if expressed, would have been 
the purport of them. By the preparations made for 
execution, we shall see broken off the defence, before 
it had come, if ever it was designed to come, to the 
substance of the alledged offence. 

Points touched upon in it are these : — 

1. Defendant's birth-place, Tarsus; parentage, 
Jewish; religious persuasion, Pharasaical; education, 
under Gamaliel, verse 3. 

2. Part, borne by him, in the persecution of the 
Christians, when Stephen was stoned : his commission 
for that purpose stated, and the High Priest and El- 
ders called to witness, verses 4 and 5. 

, N.B. Time of that same commission, according to 

§• 2. Tnal I. Scene, the Temple. 349 

the received chronology, not less then 26 years 
before this. 

3. Story, of that first vision, of which so much has 
been seen : namely, that from whence his conversion 
was dated : occasion, his journey to Damascus, for 
the execution ofthat same commission, verses 6 to 16. 

4. Story of his trance : (for this see Chapter IV. 
§• 7.) In this state, " the Lord" seen by him. — LOrd 
to Defendant. " Get thee quickly out of Jerusalem, for 
" they will not receive thy testimony concerning me." 
Defendant, to Lard. Informing or reminding said 
Lord of the details of the part borne by said defendant 
in the persecution of Saint Stephen. — Lord to De- 

fendant. •* Depart, for I will send thee far hence unto 
" the Gentiles." Note, Defendant cut short : Lord's 
patience no match for defendant's eloquence. 
• fudges and executioners. — At the word Gentiles, 
exclamation : — " Away with him .... he is not fit to 
" live:"— clothes cast off, as in Stephen's case, as if 
to prepare for stoning him*. " Dust thrown into the 
air." Present, chief captain Claudius Lysias, who 
commands him to be " brought into the castle," and 
" examined by scourging." While, for this purpose, 
they are binding him, on Defendant crying out, "/«/» 

* If in any former part of this work, in speaking of this scene, 
the persons in question have been spoken of as having actually 
proceeded to acts of manual violence, it was an oversight. 

As to the examination by scourging, — singular enough will na- 
turally appear this mode of collecting evidence : declared purpose 
of it, " that he" (the captain) " might know wherefore they"' (the 
Jews) " cried out against him," meaning the defendant. A simpler 
way would have been to have asked theni; and, as to the scourge, 
what use it could have been of is not altogether obvious. To begin 
with torturing a man, and proceed by questioning him, was, how- 
ever, among the Romans a well-known mode of obtaining evidence. 
But, then and there, as now and everywhere, unless the United 
IStates form an exception, " whatever is — is right," provided al- 
ways that it is by power that it is done. 

360 Ch. XV. Jews v. Paul.— Five Trials. 

** a Roman citizen,'" the binding ceases, no scourging 
commences: the next day he is released, and the 
"chief priests and all their council" are "sent for," 
and defend^t is "set before them/* 



^cls xxiii. 1 to 1 0. 

Judges, chief priests in council assembled : present, 
the high priests. Prosecutors j^ the said judge: other 
prosecutors, as far as appears, none. In modern 
Rome- bred law, this mode of procedure, in which the 
parts of judge and prosecutor are performed by the 
same person, is styled the inquisitorial: in contra- 
distinction to this, that in which the part of prose- 
cutor is borne by a different person, is stiled the ac- 

Charges or questions put, not stated. 

Defendant. *'I am a Pharisee^ ... the son of a 
" Pharisee. Of the hope and resurrection of the dead 
" I am called in question.** 

Thereupon (v. 9.) "great cry'* 10. "Great 

" dissention." ** Chief captain, fearing lest** (De- 
fendant) " Paul should have been pulled in pieces of 
them,** (iuuendo the said judges) "commands sol- 
f * diers," who take him back into the castle. 

" Cry ? dissention ?" — whence all this ? Acts has 
not here been explicit enough to inform us. As to 
Defendant's plea, that it was for believing in the re- 
surrection that he was prosecuted, — what could not 
but be perfectly known to him was, — that it neither 
was true, nor by possibility could be so. Among said 
Judges, parties two — Pharisees and Sadducees : Pha- 
risees the predominant. '^ The Sadducees (on this 

^.3. Trial \l. Scency the Council' Board. 351 

occasion, says v. 8) say there is no resurrection, neither 
" angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both." 
Prosecuting a Pharisee for preaching the resurrection, 
(meaning always the general resurrection) would have 
been as if a Church-of-Englandist Priest were indict- 
ed in the King's Bench, for reading the Atbanasian 
creed. Accordingly— it was a stratagem of the defen- 
dant's — this same mis-statement: such it is expressly 
stated to be:— when defendant ^'perceived (v. 6) that 
" the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pha- 
** risees," — then it was that he came out with it: and, 
already it has been seen, how effectually it answered 
its purpose. 

Enter once more the history of the trance. Note here 
the sudden termination of defendant's first Jerusalem 
visit, alias his Reconciliation f^isit, and turn back to 
Chapter IV. ^. 7, Qiuse of it, — (historian speaking in 
his own person) — " Grecians (Acts ix. 29) " went 
"about to slay him," for disputing with them : — (histo- 
rian, speaking, to wit here, in defendant's person), Chris- 
tianized Jews' disbelief of his conversion, and of that 
vision story of his, that he produced in evidence of it. 
It is on the occasion of the just-mentioned Temple trial, 
that Defendant is made to come out with it. On that 
occasion, as hath been seen, it was of no use^ but, in 
this second trial, it will be seen to be of prime use. That 
it was told over^gain at this trial is not indeed expressly 
said : but, that it was so is sufficiently manifest. This 
and no other is the handle which his supporters in the 
council lay hold of: and this they could not have done, 
had he not, as will be seen presently, put it into their 
hands. " The Scribes (says ver. 9) that were of the 
" Pharisees' part, arose, and strove, saying. We find 
*' no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel hath 
" spoken to him, let us not fight against God." Well 
then — this spirit, or this angel, who was be ? Who 
but that spirit, whom defendant had so manifestly 

352 Ch. XV, Jews v. Paul.— Five Trials. , 

told them of, and who was no other than that '^ Jajt^^ 
of his, whom he had seen in the trance: in the 
trance, which, while the multitude were beating him, 
invention had furnished him with for the purpose. 

Mark now, how apposite a weapon the Pharisees 
found, in this same trance^ in their war against the 
Sadducees. As to Jesus, — though from first to last, 
so far from being recognised by their sect, he had 
been the object of that enmity of theirs under which 
he sunk, — yet, so far as, in general terms, he preach- 
ed the general resurrection, — his doctrine not only 
agreed with theirs, but was of no small use to them : 
it was of use to them, against those political rivals, 
whose opposition to their sect was the sole cause of 
every thing that was troublesome to it. As to Paul, 
-—had he confined himself, to the speaking of Jesus's 
particular resurrection, — this indeed was what no 
Pharisee could be disposed to admit: but if, by 
Paul or any one else, Jesus, or any other person, was 
at any time seen in an incorporeal state, — ^here was a 
piece of evidence on their side. With relation to any 
interview of the Apostles with Jesus after his resur- 
rection, nothing that Paul had to say — to say with 
truth or colour of truth — was any thing more than 
hearsaif^x^twc^ : but, as to that, which on this oc- 
casion, he had been relating about the Lord, whom 
he had seen in his trance, — this, how false soever, was 
not only direct^ but immediate evidence: evidence, in 
the delivery of which, the relating witness stated him- 
self to have been, with relation to the alledged fact in 
question, sl percipient witness. 

That, on this occasion, Paul dwelt, with any parti- 
cularity, on the appearance of Jesus in the flesh after 
his resurrection, is not said: and, as it would not have 
contributed any thing to the purpose, the ^ less parti- 
cular the safer and the better. Lord or not Lord, that 
which appeared was at any rate a spirit: and for the 

^.4 TViaini. Before Feth. 853 

war against the Sadducees, a sjnrit was all that was 
Vfanted: no matter of what sort. 



ScENE^ ** Governor *• Felix's judicatory. Jud^, said 
Governor. Prosecutor, Orator Tertullus: Present, 
his clients.— the " High Priest •* and " the Elders.- 
Procedure, accusatorial. Time, *^ twelve days (ver. i 1 .) 
after Trial 1 ; eleven, after Trial 2.- 

I. CounseFs Speech — ^Points touched upon in it^ 
these: — (ver. 1— -4,) 

1. Opening compliment to Governor Judge. — W% 
•* providence** and " clemency.** 

II. 1. Vituperative surplusage, of .course as if in 
B. R : though not paid for, in fees and taxes, by the 
sheet. — ^Defendant, *' a pestilent fellow.** > 

Charges three. To make the matter more intelli- 
gible, had the proceeding been by wriUng in the first 
instance, they might have been styled counts! 

2. Charge I. Defendant ''a mover of sedition 
" among all the Jews throughout the world.** 

3. Charge 2. Said Defen^nt '* a ringleader of the 
*' sect of the Nazarenes.** 

4. Charge 3. Defendant *' gone about to profane 
" the temple.** 

5. Statement made of Trial 2, and the terminatipo 
given to it by Roman chief captidn Lysias, taking said 
defendant out of their hands, and commanding ac- 
cusers* appearance in this court : verses 7> 8. 

6. f^iva voce evidence accordant: witnesses^ 
neither quality nor number stated. " And iAe Jews 
^ also assented, saying that these things were ao.** 
ver. 9. 


364 Ch. XV- Jews v. Paul— Five Trials. 

II. Defendant's defence : verses 10 — ^21. 
Points touched upon in it, these :— 

1. Defendant's confidence in this his judge. 

2. At Jerusalem ** to worship'* was his errand. 
The ostensible one, yes: of the real one, — supplanting 
the Apostles, — of course nothing said. 

3. In the temple, defendant was not '< found by 
them*^ (by whom?) ** disputing wilh any nAn.** 
IXsputing.^ No. It was to take the oath— the seven- 
days-long false oath, — that he went there: — this, and 
nothing else. The priests, in whose keeping be was, 
and on whose acceptance the validity and efficacy of 
the ceremony depended, were not men to be disputed 

4. Defendant not found by them ^'raising up the 
** people, ndther in the synagogues, nor in the city.** 
ver. 1 2. No : neither was any such raising charged 
upon him : nor would it have suited his purpose. Se- 
:d{tious ads are one thing ; seditious discourses, an- 
other. From seditious acts he had nothing to gain ; 
from seditious discourses everything: to' wit, in so 
iar as the effect of it was to weaken men's attachment 
to the law of the land, and engage them to transfer 
it to the schism he had raised in the religion of Jesus. 

5. General denial: but not amounting to Ab/ 
CruUiy, ** Neither can they prove the things whereof 
" they now accuse me." ver. 13. 

' 6. In verses 14, lt5, 16, matter nothing to the 
purpose. Orthodox his belief : among the objects of 
It, Uie resurrection: void of offence towards God and 
man, his conscience. 

7< Fcdse pretence-^object of this his visit to Jem- 
salem--4>f this his Invasion f^isi^—hkely stated. 
." Now after many years I came to bring alms to my 
♦* nation, and offerings." ver. 17- 

8. When defeoduit was <^ found purified in the 
** temple," it was " neither with multitude, nor wth 

§. 4. Trial III. Be/pre Fdix. 355 

" tumult.** IVue : but nothing to the poq>ose : the 
priests, in whose boarding-house he was, while the/n^« 
rifying (that is to say, the eating and paying) pro- 
cess was carrjring on, were not a muitiiude: nor would 
mmuli have been either profitable or practicable. 

9. The men, who so found defendant there, were 
** certain Jews from Asia,** and, if they were accusers 
or witnesses, ought to have wpeared in that character 
Mk the present occasion. ** Who ought** (says ver. 19) 
" to have been here before thee, and object, if they had 
'* aught against me.** Ought ? why ought they ? De- 
fendant called no witnesses : by non-appearance of wit*^ 
nesses, if agunst him, so far from bemg injured, he 
was benefit^. The proceeding, too, was inytsisiiorial, 
not aceusaioriai : it required no accusers. Jews of 
Asia indeed ? as if there were any Jews of Asia, t6 
M'hom any naore natural or legitimate cause of indig- 
nation could have been given by his misdeeds, than 
had been given by them to all the Jews in Jerusalem, 
not to speak of the rest of the world, or the Christian- 
ized Jews. . , 

13. By defendant*8 saying to the judges in Trial % 
that it was for preaching the resurrection that he 
.stood accused by and before them— by this, without 
,any thing else, the indignation thereupon expressed 
by them against him had been excited. '^^Or else 
*' (say verses 20, 21) let these same here say, if they 
** have found any evil doing in me, while I stood be- 
/'fore the council. Except it be for this one voice, 
/^ that I med, standing among them, Tcuchiifg the 
** resurrection of the dead I am. called in question by 
" you this day.** 

Follows the judge*s decisbn, <^> When Felix** (says 
y«. 22.) ^*< heard these things, having more polect 
" knowledge of that way, he defened them, and said, 
'^ When Lvsias the chief i^ptaia shall c^une down, 


356 Ch. XV. Jews v. Paul.^Fiv€ Trials. 

*' I win know the uttermbtt of your matter.*" Socb is 
stated to have been the decision of the judge: and, 
so far as regardtd what passed on defendant's trial be- 
fore Jerusalem council, it was clearly the only proper 
one : a more impartial^ as well as, in every point of 
idew, suitable witness, the case could hardly have af- 
forded : and, as to the main question, nothing could 
be more natural, than that what it had fallen in Ly- 
6ias*8 way on that occasion to observe^ might afibrd 
instructive light. 

interlocutory order. Defendant recommitted: but 
access to him free for every body. '* And he com- 
'* manded A centurion (says ver. 23) to keep Paul, and 
'* to let him have libeity, and that he should forbid 
^^ none of his acquaintance to minister, or come unto 

In this state continues Paul for *'two years:" at 
which time (says ver. 27.) *' Porcius Festuscame into 
'* Felix's room : and Felix, willing to show the Jews 
<« a pleasure, left Pbul bound.** 

In verses 24, 25, 26, this interval of delay is filled 
up with an account, such as it is, of certain intrigues, 
of which the defendant was the subject. The Roman 
has a Jewess for his wife. The priboner is sent for, and 
wife shares with husband the benefit of h» eloquence. 
Sdf-constituted Apostle preaches: heathen trembles: 
trembling, however, prevents not his ** hoping** to get 
money out of the prisoner, if this part of die liistory 
18 to be believed. ** And after certain days,** (says 
ver. 24) ^* when Felix came with his wife DrusiUa, 
'< which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him 
** concerning** (what is here called) " the foith in 
«' Christ.** Faith in Christ indeed ? After the woid 
faUh^ the word Christ costs no more to write than the 
word Paui: but in whatever was said about iUth by 
P^tti^ whi^ would be the most prominent figure, — 

^.5. TViallV. Before Fgstus. 357 

Christ or Paul — may by this time be imagined. As 
for any &ith which it was in the nature of the case, 
that the Roman heathen should derive from the Greek 
Jew's eloquence, it must have been faith in Paul, and 
^ul only. Paul he had seen and heard, Christ he 
had neither seen nor heard ; nor, for aught that ap- 
pears, any thing concerning him, till that very time. 

"And as he reasoned (says ver. 25) of righteous- 
•* ness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix 
" trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time, 
" when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee, 
•• He hoped** (continues ven 26) " that money should 
•• hav« been given him of Paul, that he might loose 
'* him : wherefore he sent for him the oftener> and 
" communed with him.** 



Scene, Caesarea judicatory. — Judge, new Roman 
governor, Festus. Accusers, **Jews,** not named; 
sent by the high priest and his colleagues from Jem* 
aalem to Csesarea for the purpose. Defendant still 
in the prison at Csesarea: Romaii judge, at Jerusa- 
lem. Prosecutors, the council there — petition to have 
defendant brought thither. Judge chooses rather to 
go to him at Gesarea, than thus send for him to Je« 

According to the historian, it was for the purpose 
of causing defendant to be murdered, in the way to 
the jadicatory, that the prosecutors were so earnest as 
they were to obtain the habeas corpus: according to 
probaMity/itwQB for any purpose, ratlier than that of 
committing any such outrage «pon the imthority of 
their t:onstituted superior, with an army at his com^ 

356 Jews V. Paul.^Fiw Trials, 

inand. Be this as it may, Jnstcau of sending for de- 
fendant to Jerusalem, the judge returned himself to 

"Now** (says ver. 1.) "when Festus was come 
" into the province, after three days he ascended from' 

" Csesarea to Jerusalem. 2. Then the high priest 

" and the chief of the Jews informed him against 

V Paul, and besought him. 3, And desired favour 

" against him, that he would send for him to Jeni- 

" salem, laying wait in the way to kill him, 4. But 

" Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Cac- 
" sarea, and that he himself would depart shortly* 
" thither,— -5. jLict them therefore, swd he, whicL 
" among yoi^ are able, go down with me, and accuse 

" this man, if there be any wickedness in him, 

** 6. And when he had tarried among them more 
^^ than ten days, he went down unto Usesarea ; and 
"the next day sitting on. the judgment^seat com-> 
" manned Paul to be brought." 

Charges, not particularized : said of them, not so 
much as that they were the same as before. ^' Many 
" and grievous complaints against Paul, which tbejr 
" could not prove : " (ver. 7.) — such is the only ac* 
count given of them. 

Defence-r-points contained in it. As before, no of- 
fence (says ver. 6.) against the law^-^no ofienee against 
^ the temple.** One point added* '* Nor yet against 
Csesar.** Good. But how comes this here.^ Here 
we- have a defence, ag^nst what, it is plain, was never 

jFfar/cr^---jadge, to defendant, ver. 9: "Wilt thou go 
^^ up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things 
1« before me?"" 

Defendant to judge, ver. 10: "I stand at Caesar's* 
^' judgment^seat, where I ought to be judged:** mean** 
ing (as appears from the direct words of appeal in the 
next veF8e)i~by a Koman, not by a Jewish judicatdiy» 

^.6. Trial V. lisiw and ^grippa. 35& 

ought I to be tried. Against the being judged at Cse- 
sarea, instead of Jerusalenij he could not naturally 
have meant to object : at least, if the historian speaks 
true, in what he says about the plot for murdering the 
prisoner on the road. 

2. " To the Jews" (says ver. 10.) " have I done no- 
^* wrong*"* Thus far nothing more is said than Not 
Guiiiy. But now follows another trait of that effron- 
tery, which was so leading ajeature in Piaurs elo- 
quence, '* as (continues he) thou very well knowest/* 
Now what any body may see is,^-that Festus neither^ 
did know, nor could know, any such thing. Witness- 
tiie historiographer himself, who, but eightverses after, 
(18, 19, 20,) makes Festus himself, in discourse with 
King Agrippa, declare as much. But the more au- 
dacious, the more in defendant s character ; and the 
greater the probability, that, in the conflict between 
the Law-Report and the narrative, truth is on the side 
of the Report. 

3. Ck>nclusion : (ver. 1 1 .) defendant gives judge to 
understand, that if he (the defendant) has done any 
of the things he bas been charged wjth, he has no ob* 
jectioa to be put tp death : but in the wtne breath ends 
with saying, ^' I appeal to Caesar ! '* submitting thus to 
Festus's judgment, whatever it may be, and at the 
same time appealing- from it. 

Festus judge: (ver. 12.) '*when he had conferred 
" with t/ie cvuncily^ whoever they were, — " Hast thou 
** appealed \into Caesar ? unto Caesar thou shalt go.** 
Here ends Trial IV. 



This requires some previous explanation. 

A few days after the last preceding trial, came to 
Caesarea (says verse 13.) Agrippa and Bemice: 

360 Ch. XV. Jew9 v. Pmd.^Fim Trkds. 

Festus being still there : Ag:rippa/ sub-ldng of the 
Jews undeF the Romans : Berniee, it may be pre- 
sumed, his queen : saluting this their superior, ^mr 
only business mentioned. Follows thereupon a con- 
versation, of which defendant is the subject, and 
which continues the length of fourteen verses. De- 
fendant having appealed to Ciesar, judge has deter- 
mined to send him to Csesar accordingly. But, con- 
sidering that, by the emperor, on the arrival of a man 
sent to him in the character of a prisoner, some as- 
signed cause, for his having been put mto that con- 
dition, will naturally be looked for; and, as the 
only offences, the Jew stands charged with, are of a 
sort, which, while to the heathen emperor they would 
not be intelligible, would to a Jew sub-king, if to any 
one, be sufficiently so ; — ^thereupon it is, that he de- 
sires his sub-majesty to join with him in the hearing 
of the cause, and by that means put him in a way to 
report upon it. 

I^)eaking of the accusers, "they brought (says 
Festus to Agrippa in verse 18.) "none accusation of 

" such things as I supposed. 19. But had certain 

^< questions against him of their own super8titi<m, and 
" of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed 

•« to be alive. 20. And because I doubted of such 

" manner of questions, I asked him whether he would 
" go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these mat- 

" ters. ^21 . But Paul, . • .had appealed to be re- 

" served unto the hearing of Augustus. . . /' Such 
(as above noticed) is the declaration which the historian 
puts into the mouth of Festus: and this, after having 
so recently made Paul tell Festus, that his (Paul's) 
having done no wrong to the Jews, was to him (Fes- 
tus) matter qf such perfect knowledge*. 

♦ Acts XXV. 12—27. 

1 2. " Then Festus^ when he hsd conferred with the coinicO, an- 
" swersd^ Hast thou appealed unto Qesar > unto Cssar shalt thou 
" go.— 13. And after certain days king Agrippa and Beraica 

^.6. Trial V. Festus trndjigrippa. 361 

Now then comes the trial (Acts xxvi. \,) Scene, 
at Cassarea, the Emperor's Bench. Lord chief justice, 
Roman governor Festns ; Puisne judge, Jew sub-king* 
Agrippa. Present, ^^Bernice. • • .chief captains and 
'* principal men of the city.** Special accusers, none. 
Sole speaker, whose speech is reported, the defendant. 

'^ cuae unto Cflesarsft to salute Festut.— -14. And when they had ^ 
" been there many da^, Featus declared Paul's cause unto the 
'' ktngj, saying. There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix ; 
"15. About whom J when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests 
**^ and the elden'of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judg- 
** ment against him.— — *16. To whom I answer^ It is not the. 
*\ manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that 
** he which is accused have the accusers fiEu;e to face, and have 
" license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against 
<'him.— ^17. Therefore, when they were come hither, without 
" any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment-seat, and com«> 

'^ manded the man to be brought forth : 18. Against whom, 

** when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of 
" such things as I supposed:— f 9. But had certain questions 
" Against him of their own siqientitton, and of one Jeans, which 
^\ was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.— ^20. And becaose 
** I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he 
'' would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. 
" — *21. But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the 
'' hearing^ of Augustna, I commanded him to be kept till I might 

'' send him to Caesar. 2Z. Then Agrippa said unto Festus, 

" 1 would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, said he, thou 
** shalt hear him.— *23. And on the morrow, when Agrippa was 
" come, and Bemice, with great pomp, and was entered mto the 
'* pbce of hearing, witii the chief captams and principal men of the 
'' city, at Festus* commandment Paul was brought forth.-— 
'^ 24. And Festus said. King Agrippa, and all men which are pre- 
" sent with us, ye see this man bdovX whom all the multituoe of 
** the Jews have dealt with me, boih at Jerusalem and alao here, 
** crying that he ought not to live any longer.r— -25. But when 
** 1 founid that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that 
** he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send 

** him. 26. Of whom I have no certmn thing to write unto my 

^* lord,* wherefore I have brought him forth before you» and spe* 
'' ciAlly before thee, O King Agrippa, that after examination had, 
'f I might have somewhat to write.— 27. For it seemeth to me 
" unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the 
" crimes laid against him.*' 

362 Ch. XV. Jem v. Pwl.—Fhfe Trials. 

Poifits in defendwit's speech, these : 

1 . (Verses 2 and . 3.) Patient hearing reqaested, 
acknowledgement <^ Agrippa'Ss spedal confidence. 

2. (Verses 4 and 5.) Protestatipn of^hariseeism. 
. 3. (Verses^ 7> 8.) Same false insinuation as be- 

fore, — ^Phariseeisni the sole crime imputed to hiou 

4. (Verses 9, 10, 1 1.) Confession or avowal (which- 
ever it is to be called) of his proceedings six-aod- 
twenty years before, against the Christianized Jews^ 
shutting them up in prison, in pursuance of author!^ 
from ** the chief priests,"* down to the lime of his con- 
version-vision. See Table I. Conversion Table. 

5. (Verses 12 to 20.) Account of this same vision- 
See that same Table. 

6. Declaration. " For these causes the Jews caught 
" me in the temple, and went about to kill me.* — For 
these causes ? For what causes ? If for being a Pha- 
risee, or preaching the general resurrection, or even 
the particular one, — assuredly no. But, if for the 
breach of trust, in joining with the state ofifenders, 
the Christianized Jews, whom he was commissioned 
to apprehend; — joining with those state-offenders, and 
then bringing out the visiou'^tory for an excuse;— if 
telling every body that would hear him, that the law 
of the land was a dead letter ; — and, if the denying he 
had ever done so; and, for giving himself the benefit of 
such mendacious denial, rendering the temple an in* 
strument of notorious perjury; — ^if it was for all this, 
that they " went about'' indeed " to kill him,**— but to 
kill him no otherwise than in the manner prescribed 
by that same law, — Jewishly speaking, they were not 
to blame in iVhat they did, — humanly speaking, no- 
thing can be seen that is not altogether naturd in it. . 

7. Conclusion : namely, if not of what he wouM 
have said, — at any rate, of what, according to the re- 
porter, he was permitted to say : — it is formed by a 
passage, in which, in continuance of his plan for 

\.ii. Tfixiy.FcsiWimdAgrippa. 38» 

keeping up.his intef^ with the Phftrisee part of the 
oottndTy his ingmi^tj employs itself in stceDgthening 
the connexion between the particular resurrection of- 
Jestts^ and thei geneml teswr^on maintained by the 

<' Having therefbre (says verse 22) obtained help of 
'^ God» I continue unto thia day» witnessing l^oth to 
^' small and great, saying none other things than 
« those which the prophets and Moses did say should 

*^ come : 23. That Christ should suffer, and thaft 

<< he should be the first that should rise from the dead, 
^' and should show light unto the people, igid to the 

'' Gentiles.** 24«Lord Chief Justice Festus <' with 

^' a loud voicei as he" {the defendant) ** thus spake 

'^for himself — ^PauU thou art beside thyself; much 

*^ learning hath made thee mad.** In the month of 

a Roman, am} that Roman so high iif rank, the to* 

tion ttais expressed had nothing in it but whatwp 

natural enoughs As to the gpneral r^urrection, thai 

was one of the aboive-^meiitioned " questions ^bout 

*^ thw own superstition,** which, he therefore left Uk 

the Jewish judges:, as to tiie/iat^icii/ieir seMfrection^ 

of this ht hftd heard 'Uo better evidence than the de- 

fei^Unt*s : and what, indiscriiici^ating e^es, fhat was 

likely to be wwth, the radec has \Tf this time judged. . 

H: Defendant in rep)y» ver. 25 : Not miMl, but so^ 

ber: — ^for confirmation, i^^peal to the Jewish sub*mo«^ 

narch, then and there present. *'I am not mad, 

'* most nioble Festus; but speak forth the words of 

"truth and soberness.—^ — 26. For the King knoweth 

^' of these things, before whom also I speak freely} 

" for I am persuadedr that none of these things are 

" hidden from him ; for this was not.done in a comer.*' 

Here would hwe been a plaoe for the five hundred^ 

by whom, afttf his resurrection, Jesus was seen at once 

see above chapter*— but, upon the fH-esent occasion, the 

funeral expression,, here employed, was deemed pre-> 

^4 Ch. XV. Jew$ t. Paul.-^fhm TVtab. 

ferable. •' King Agrippa,^ (contiiiues ?cr»c 27) *^ be- 
*^ lievest tbou the prophets ? I know that tboa be^ 
•* lievest.- 

King Agrij^ to Paul, ver. 28« ** Almost thou per* 
** suadest roe to be a Christian.** 

Fkul to Agrippa : ** I would to God, that not only 
'* thou, but also all that hear me this day were both 
^ almost and altogether such as I am,, e^pc^ iAese 
'* bands,'' No bad trait of polite oratory tbis excep- 

r Assembly breaks up. — 30. *' And when he had thus 
'^ spoken, the King rose up, and the governor and Ber- 
** nice, and they that sat whh them. 31. And when 
** they weregone aside, they talked between themselves, 
'* saying, 'Hiis man doeth notlung worthy of death 
<< w of bonds. 32. Then said Agrippa unto Festiis, 
*' This man might have been set at liberty, if he had 
^^not appealed unto Csesar.** Observation. In this 
observation, something of the obscure seems to pre-' 
sent kdelf. For, Paul himself bring the appellant; 
and thai for no other purpose than the saving faimadf 
from death or bonds, he had but to withdraw the ap- 
peal, and, supposing a judgment pronounced to the 
effect thus mentioned, this was every thing he could 
have wished from it. But, Paul having alreadv; to 
judge from his Epistle to the Romans, laid the mun- 
dation of a spiritual kingdom in the metropolis of the 
civilized world,-— it looks as if he had no objection to 
figure there, as we shall find him figuring acoordingty, 
in the character of a state-prisoner, for the purpose of 
displaying, and in the eye of the Csesar of that day, 
a sample of his eloquence, in a cause so much greater 
than any in which that of the first Caesar could ever 
have displayed itself. Reason is not wanting for the 
suppositibn, that it was by what passed at the council, 
that the idea was first suggested to him : for ^* the 
^* night following, the Lord (says xxiu. 1 It) stood bf. 

^.6. 7Ha/V. Fesius and Agr^a. 305 

^ him, and %&id. Be of good cheer, Fkul ; for as thou 
** hast testified of ine in Jerusalem, so must thou bear 
'* witness also at Rome.** The Lord has commanded 
me so and so, is the sort of languag;e in mhich he 
would naturally make communication of this idea to 
his attendants. 

The circumstantiated and dramatic style of this part 
of the narrative, seems to add to the probability, Uiat, 
on this occasion, the historian himself was present. 
On thb supposition, though in the Greek as well as 
in the English, they are represented as if they had 
quitted the justice-room, — any conversation, that took 
place among them immediately after, in the street, 
might not unnaturally have been overheard by him. 
In chapter xxiv. ver. 23. stands Felix*s order of admit- 
tance, as above, for PaaYs acquaintance, to minister 
or come to him. One other attendant has appeared, 
in the character of his sister^s son (Actsxsdii. 16); by 
whom information was given to Felix, that the men 
there spoken of were lying in wait for him to kill him. 
On the occasion of this invasion of his, it would have 
been interesting enongh to have had a complete list 
of his staff 

Here ends trial fifth and last : and in tiie next vefse 
it is, that, together with other prisoners, and the histo- 
rian at least for his free attendant, he is dispatched 
on his voyage. Acts xxvii. 1 . *^ And when it was de- 
^^ermined that we should sail into Italy, they deli- 
** vered Fkul and certain other prisoners unto one 

*' named Julius, a centurion of Augustus* band. 

** 2. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we 
<* launched. • . .** 

( 366 ) 


PatiTs Doctrines Anti-apostoUc. — JFas he not Anii* 



If P^u1*s pretensions to a superoatural intorcoune 
with the Almighty were no better than a pretence ; — 
his visit to Jerusalem, from first to last, an object of 
abhorrence to the Apostles and all their discij^es; in 
a word, to all, who m the birth-place of Christiaiu^, 
bore the name of Christian, and were regarded as be- 
longing to the religion of Jesus; — ^if, not only to /Am* 
knowl^ge, but to that of the whole population of 
Jerusalem, be was a depraved character, marked by 
the stain, — not merely of habitual insincerity, but df 
peijury in its most aggravated form ; — ^if it was no 
otherwise than by his having declared himself a Booian 
citizen, that he escaped from the punishments— ap- 

J)arently a capital one — attached by the law of the 
and to the crimes of which he had been guil^; if, in 
a word, it was only in places, in which Jesufh— his doc- 
trines, and his Apostles — were alike unknown, that 
this self-decbred Apostle of Jesus was received as 
such ; — if allg or though it were but some, of these 
points may be regarded as established^— «iy further 
proof, in support of the position, that no doctrine 
of his, which is not contained in some one or other 
of the four Gospels, has any pretension to be regarded 
as part and parcel of the religion of Jesus, might well, 
in any ordinary case, be regarded as superfluous : and. 

^. L Paul against the Apostles: Z^ 

of the several charges here brought to view, whe- 
ther there be any one, of the truth of which the de- 
monstration is not complete, the reader has all along 
been invited to consider with himself, and judge. If 
thereupon the judgment be condemnatory, the result 
is — ^that whatever is in Paul, and is not to be found 
in any one of the four Gospels, is not Christiani^, 
but Paulism. 

In any case of ordinary complexion, sufficient then, 
it is presumed, to every judicious eye, would be what 
the reader has seen already : but the present case is 
no ordinary case. An error, if such it be, which not- 
withstanding all the sources of correction, which in 
the course of the work have at length been laid open 
and brought to view, has now, for upwards of seventeen 
centuries past, maintained its ground throughout the 
Christian world, cannot, without the utmost reluctance, 
be parted with : for dissolving the association so un- 
happily formed, scarcely, therefore, can any argument 
which reason offers be deemed superfluous. 

For this purpose, one such argument, though on 
a preceding occasion already touched upon, remains 
to be brought to view. It consists of his own con- 
fession. Confession ? say rather avowal : for^ — such is 
the temper of the man — ^in the way of boasting it is, 
not in the way of concession and self-humiliation that 
lie comes out with it. Be this as it may — when, speak- 
ing of the undoubted Apostles, he him^lf declares, 
that he has received nothing from them, and that he 
has doctrines which are not theirs, shall he not ob- 
tain credence ? Yes : for this once, it should seem, 
he may, without much danger of error, be taken at his 

To see this — if he can endure the sight — ^will not 
cost the reader much trouble, Table II. Paul disbe- 
Meved Table, lies before him. Under the head of 

3«8 Ch. XVI. PauTs Docirmes Anti-.t4^olic. 

Independence declared^ in Pburs Epistle to his Gala- 
tians, chapter i, verses 1), 12, he will find these 
words. <' But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel 
*' which was preached of me is not after man : for 
<< / neither received it ofman^ neither was / taught , 
«* bi^by the revelation of Jesus Christ."^ Thus bx 
P^ul. If then it was not received by him by the re- 
velation of Jesus Christ — ^this Gospel of his ; nor yet, 
as he assures us, ^' ofman^ — the consequence is a ne- 
cessary one — it was made by him, out of his own head. 



Of the name of Jesus, whatever use be may have 
made — made (as it was seen) without authority— can 
any use, made in contradiction to this his own con- 
fession, afford any the slightest ground for regarding 
his Gospel, whatever it be, — ^his Gospel, or any part 
of it, — as belonging to the religion of Jesus ? If so, 
then are all impostors the persons they falsely pretend 
to be — all counterfeit productions of any kind, ge- 
nuine ones. 

While preaching to Gentiles at a distance from Je- 
rusalem, from any use he could have the assurance to 
make of so' revered a name, it {% almost superfluous 
to observe, how much he had to gain, and how little 
to lose. In a case of this sort, how much soever there 
may be that is offensive in the demeanour of the pre- 
tended agent eulogizing, no part of it is ascribed to 
the pretended principal eulofi^zed : and, in such his 
eulogy, the pretended agent is not hampered by any 
of those considerations, by which he would stana pre- 
cluded from all prospect of advantage, had he the ef- 

§. 2. Jesus^s Name no proof. 360 

frontery to lay it in equally strong colours on himself. 
Thus, in the ease of P^ul, from putting in* the fore- 
ground where he did, the name of Jesus, there was 
this great advantage to gain : and, the pretended prin- 
dpal being never present to disavow him, the conse- 
quence was — ^that, so long as no accredited and cre- 
dited agents, of that same principal, were at hand to 
contradict his pretensions, — the mere name of this 
principal would be no obstacle, to the preaching of 
doctrines, ever so decidedly at variance with his. 

If, on the other hand, — in a company, in which he 
was preaching doctrines of his own, which were not 
Jesus^s, — men should happen to be present, to whom, 
by reason of their personal acquaintance with Jesus, 
or with any immediate disciples of Jesus, these same 
doctrines of PauFs should be perceived and declared 
not to be Jesus^s^ here would be an inconvenience : 
and, on this account, — wherever, without using the 
name of Jesus, or any other name than his own, he 
could be sufficiently assured, of obtaining a degree of 
confidence sufficient for his purpose, — this course, sup- 
posing it successful, would, on several accounts, be 
more advantageous. 

Here then, on each occasion, or at any rate on some 
occasions, would be an option for him to make: 
namely, either to preach in the name of Jesus, or else 
to set up for himself: — to set up for himself, and, on 
the strength of a pretended revelation from the Al- 
mighty, without the intervention of Jesus, preach in 
no other human name than his own. 

From a passage, in the first of his two Epistles to 
his Corinthian disciples, it looks as if an experiment 
of this kind — an experiment for adding nominal inde- 
pendence to real— *had actually been tried : but that 
the success of it was not such as to' be followed by 
continuance. For this suspicion — ^for it is but a sus- 


370 Ch, XVI. PauFs Doctrines AntuAposiolic. 

picion, — any reader who thinks it worth his while, 
may see the grounds in the subjoined note *. 

* " Were ye baptized" (says he, speaking to his Corinthians, 
2 Cor. ii. 13.) ** Were ye baptized in the name of Paul)— ^* 
"14. I thank God (continues he) that I baptized none of you but 

'' Crispus and Gaius, 15. Lest any man should say that I bad 

" baptized in mine own name. 1 6. And I baptized also the 

** household of Stephanas > besides, I know not whether I baptized 
" any other/* For an experiment of this kind, it should seem 
from that Kpistle, that motives were by no means wanting. For, 
among these same disciples, in the preaching of his doctnnes^ he 
had found himself annoyed by divers name$ more or less formidable : 
there was the name, though probably never the person— of Cephas, 
the real Hebrew name, of which, in the four Gospels, written as 
they are in Greek, Peter is the translation : thore was the name, 
and not improbably the person-— of ApoUos, whom^about three yeais 
before, (Acts xviii. 18—26) two female <^8ciples of PauPs, Aqm'la 
and Priscilla, had at Ephesus enlisted under his banners : there 
was, according to him, the name of Chmt, though assuredly, never 
the person of Je&us, 

" For it hath been declared unto me of you, brethren," (say* 
he, 1 Cor. i. 11) "that there are contentions among you.— 
** 12. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, 1 am of Pktul ; 
and I of Apollos ; and I of C^has ; and I of Christ.*' Thereupon 
follows immediately a short nourish of Paulian eloquence :— 
" J3. Is Christ divided ? was Paul crucified for you ? or were ye 
^* baptized in the name of Paul ? " and so forth, as above. 

"Division" (says he) ** among you :'* in this phrase may be 
seen the style of modern royalty. Towards a will so intinuUely 
connected with the divine as the royal, no such temper of mind, so 
intolerable as opposition. Is ever to be supposed : were it on all oc- 
casions equally known — known to all, and alike interpreted by* 
all, no division could have place : but, some put one interpretation 
upon it, some another : in some eyes, thi$ course is regarded as 
best adapted to the giving effect to it; in others, that : hence that 
division, to which, on every occasion, it is the duty of all to put 
the speediest end. Now then as to Paul. This same assumed 
&therlj aflfection, under the name of elder-brotherly — this desire 
of seeing concord among brethren — what was it in plun truth ? 
Answer, love of power. Would you have proof ? Take in hand 
this same Epistle of his to his Corinthians (or, if at verse the tenth, 
it will be ts this purpose early enough), and read on, till you come 

\. 3- f^M he mi Antichrist ? 371 



A CHILD, of Paurs ready and fruitful brain — a bug-r 
bear, which the officious hands of the English official 

to chq)teT iv. verses 15, 16. " Now 1 beseech you, brethren, by 
" the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same 
** thing, and that there be no divisions among you : but that ye 
'' be perfectly j(Mned together in the siame mind, and in the same 
''judgment.-*— 11. For it hath been declared unto me," and so 
forth, as above. Read on, and at len^h you will come to th^ 
essence of all this good advice, 1 Cor. iv. 1$. '' For^ though ye 
" have ten thousand instructors in Christ," (says he) " yet have 
" ye npt many fathers ; for, in Christ Jesus, J heme begotten yoii, 

" through the Gospel. 16. Wherefore, I beseech you, he ye 


At this time, it should seem that, on the occasion of this his 
courtship of the Jews of Corinth, not onlyf was the name of Peter 
an object of his declared rivalry, but the name and person of his 
own sub-disciple Apolbs, an oDJect of his jealousy. '' For, while 
" one saith (1 Cor. iii. 4.) I am of Paul ^ and another, I am of 
"ApoTlosj are ye not" (says he) "carnal?— 5. Who then," 
(continues he) " is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by 
" whom ye bdieved, even as th(5 Lord gave to every man ?— -^ 
" 6. I have planted, Apollos watered ; but God gave the increase. 
" 7. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one j 
" and every man shall receive his own reward according to his 
*' own labour." Fifteen verses after comes a flourish, in which 
Apollos is spoken of for the last time. " Whether Paul, ^r 
" Apollos, or Ceplias, or the world, or life, or death, or things pre- 

"sent, or things to come, • all are yuurs ; 23. And ye are 

** Christ's, and Christ is God's." At the word Cephas ends (it 
may have been observed) common sense : what fotlowv being dust 
for the eyes : dust, composed of the flowers of Saulo-Paul|an elp- 

As to Apollos, if so it was, that, at one time, in the mind of our 
spiritual monarch, any such sentiment as jealousy, in regard to 
this sub-minister had place, it seems to have been afterwards, in 
some way or other, removed : for, in his Epistle to Titus, bearing 
date about seven years after, namely A"* 64, the devotion of the 
subject seems to have been entire. Speaking to Titus (Tit. iii. 13.) 
" Bnng with you" (says Paul) " Zenas the lawyer, and Apollos, 
" on their journey diligently, tiiat nothing be wanting to them." 


372 Ch. XVI. PmuCs Doctrines Afitu^posiolic. 

translators of his Epistles, have in their way christen- 
ed, so to speak, by the name of Antichrist^ — ^has 
been already brought to view. (See Chap. XII. \. 4.) 
If there be any persons, to whose religion, — in addition 
to a devil, with or without horns and tail, — with or 
without other spirits, in no less carnal howsoever un- 
repulsive forms, — an Antichrist is necessary for the 
completion of the polytheistical official establishment ; 
and if, in place of an ideal, they can put up with a 
real Antichrist, — an Antichrist of flesh and blood, 
— they need not go far to look for one. Of Saul, 
ali^s Paul, the existence is not fabulous. If, in his 
time, a being there was, in whom, with the excep- 
tion of some two or three attendants of his own, every 
person, that bore the name of Christian, beheld and 
felt an opponent, and that opponent an indefatigable 
adversary, it was this same Paul : Yes, such he was, if, 
in this particular, one jnay venture to give credence, to 
what has been seen so continually testified, — testified, 
not by any enemy of his, but by his own dependent, 
— his own historiographer, — ^his own panegyrist, — his 
own steady friend. Here then, for any body that 
wants an Antichrist, here is an Antichrist, and he an 
undeniable one. 

Antichrist, as every body sees. Antichrist means 
neither more nor less than that which is opposed to 
Christ. To Christ himself, the bugbear, christened 
by the English bishops Antichrist^ was not, by its 
creator, spoken of as opposing itself. To Christ him- 
self, Paul himself couy not, at ll)at time, be an oppo- 
nent: the Jesus, whom he called Christ, was no longer 
in the flesh. But of all that, in the customary figura- 
tive sense — of all that, in any intelligible sense, could 
on this occasion be called Christ — namely, the real 
Apostles of Jesus, and their disciples and followers, — 
Paul, if he himself is to be believed, was an opponent, 
if ever there was one. 

^. 3. Was he not Anttchist ? 373 

Paul preached the resurrection of the dead. Agreed. 
But did not all Pharisees do so too ? And was not 
Paul a Pharisee ? And Jesus — had he not in all Pha- 
risees so many opponents ? And the real Christians, 
had they any where in his life-time, any other opponent 
so acrid or so persevering as this same Paul ? 

Paul preached the resurrection of the dead. Agreed. 
But that resurrection of the dead which he preached, 
was it not a resurrection, that was to take place in the 
life-time of himself and other persons then living.^ 
And — any such resurrection, did it accordingly take 
place ? 


At the time when the Summary Vieiv^ mentioned 
in the Introduction to this work, was penned, the de« 
sign was, as. there mentioned, to include in the pre- 
sent publication, what remained of the History of the 
Church of Jesus, in so far as the materials are fur- 
nished, by the narrative, included in the New Testa* 
nient, under the title of The Acts of the Apostles. 
For the reasons there also mentioned, that part of the 
design has, for the present at least, been relinquished* 
Nevertheless, as that same Summary View has re- 
ceived a degree of circulation more or less extensive,-— 
and public expectation been in a proportionable degree 
raised, — a determination has been taken — not to leave 
the reader of the present work altogether in the dark, 
with relation to any thing, by which, in the pursuit 
of the same design, it has been preceded : with the 
benefit of a few corrections and additions, the then 
intended titles of the chapters and sections, of the now 
discarded purely historical work, are accordingly here 

As to the numbers here attached to the several 
chapters of the as yet suppressed work, they are, as 
will be seen, such as would of course be attached to 
them, if that part of the originally intended work 
were to come out separately. To have inserted, in 
lieu of them, those which would have been the proper 
ones, if that work had formed a part of this, would 
have thrown, over the account given of the suppressed 
work, a veil of obscurity and confusion. 

376 Appendix. 

Church History, from Jesus's AscensioD| to Paul's CoDTer- 


1 . General view-^p&rticulars classed. 

2. Matthias chosen as an associate of the Apostles^ in place of 

3. At meetings, many languages heard— cloven tongues seen. 

4. Cripple cured at the Temple b^ Peter and John, 
. 5. Community of goods established — principal contrilmtor, 

. G. Ananias and Sapphira reserve property— their sudden dealh. 
. 7. Peter imprisoned, enlarged, recommitted, examined, and re- 

. S. Deacons, i. e. Trustees, chosen, for management of the Com- 
mon Stock. Priests converted. 
. 9. Deacon Stephen accused of blasphemy. 
. aO. Stephen's speech, vision, and death. 

1 1 . Disciples dispersed by terror : the Apostles, not the Gospd, 

12. Sorcerer Simon^s offers, to buy power, to confer the Holy 
Ghost — refused. 

)3. Ethiopian office-bearing Eunuch converted: Deacon Plultp 
disappears, and is found. 


History continued. Peter's Transactions between the first 
and second of Paul's Jerusalem Visits. 

§. 1. Particulars classed. 1. Persons 5 2. Business; 3.\1sions; 
4. Success 5 5. Duration j 6. Language-learning wanting to Pe- 
ter, notwithstanding the cloven tongues. 

§.2. At Lydda, iEneas*s palsy cured. 

§.3. At Joppa, Tabitha resuscitated. 

§.4. Peter's and Centurion ComWtUj's visions— Cornelius, at C«« 
sarea — purpose of the account — its contrivance examined. 

§.5. After Jesus*8 acts and sayings, the liberty, supposed to be 
given by Peters vision, was needless. 

(. 6. Jewish converts to Christianity — ^what was the offence giytn 
to them by Peter? 


History continued. Period between Paul's 2d and 3d, or 2d 
and 4th, Jerusalem visits. Peter incarcerated by King 
Herod, and liberated. Herod's death, 

|, 1. Peter incarcerated by King Herod. 

Appendix. Z77 

§. 2. Peter liberated. 

%, 3. King Herod*8 death. 


History continued. Paul and Barnabas-— their Missionary 
excursion — their separation. 

%. 1. Particulars classed. I. Places visited^ 9 ; II. Stages^ 14} 
III. Miracles^ 2, — ^viz. at Paphos^ Sorcerer Elymas blinded ; at 
Lystra^ cripple cured ; IV. Speeches^ 4 5 V. Success, not much. 

§•2. Bamahoi styled an Apostle, 


History concluded. Paul's excursion concluded — Silas, his 
attendant. Incidents down to his fourth visit to Jerusalem 
«— namely, his Invasion Visit ; thence to his forced visit to 
Rome. — Acts' history closes. 


In which it is shown, that the inducementSy by which Paul's 
outward conversion and preaching were produced, were 
purely of a worldly nature. 


Paul's inducements purely worldly. 

§. 1. Common notion, that inward conversion was necessary to 
the production of Paul's conduct, erroneous. 

%. 2. Particular positions, stated in proof oi the opposite opinion. 

%, 3. Inducements to the general design here considered : induce- 
ments to particular doctrines dismissed. 

§. 4. Sole source of information as to his inducements, his own 

§.5. Position I. The sort of situation he aspired to, was in its na- 
ture an advantageous one. 

§. 6. Position II. The worldly benefits he attained, would nUtu- 
rally be from the first in his view. 

§. 7. Position III. In the particular situation of the Apostles, he 
found an incentive. 

§.8. Position IV. In the case of Svinon Magus, he had found an 

§. 9. Position V. In the case of Ananias and SapphWa he had found 
an incentive. 

§. 10. Position Vf. For the attainment of these benefits, his exer- 
tions were strenuous. 

378 Appendix. 

(.11. Position VII. In the attainment of these benefits^ his suc- 
cess was substantial and splendid. 

§.12. Placet, to which the applications made by him Uxi those be- 
nefits were addressed. 


Paul's love of Money. Proofs of Money received or craved 

by him. 

\, 1. Money craved* 1 Cor. ix. 1 — 14. 2 Tim. iL 6. 

§. 2. Promptitude urged. 1 Cor. xvi. \,2,Z,A. 2 Cor. viii. lOj 

11, 12. 
§. 3. Need asserted. 1 Cor. iv. 9—14. 1 Cor. xvi. 15, 16. 21. 

2 Cor. vii. 13, 14. 
§. 4. Right asserted. Rom. xv. 25 — 2H. 1 Cor. ix. 6, 9. Rom. xv. 

(. 5. SuflFerings boasted of. 1 Cor. xv. 32. 2 Cor. L 8, 9, 10. 

2 Cor. xi. 23—25. 
(. 6. False pretence employed. Rom. xv. 25—^2 I Cor. ix. 6. 

1 Cor. XVI. 1, 2, 3. 

§. 7. Remuneration indicated. 2 Cor. viii. J 3 — 15. 

§. 8. Shame employed. 1 Cor. iv. 9—14. 2 Cor. viii. 1 — 8. 

2 Cor. ix. 1—6. 

(.9. Gratitude employed. Philipp. iv. 14^-16. 

§. 10. Threats employed. 1 Cor. ix. 6. 16, 17, 18, 19. 

§.11. God employed. 2 Cor. viii. 9. 2 Cor. ix. 7— 15. Philipp. iv. 

18, 19. 1 Tun. vi. 17—19. 
§. 12. Disinterestedness boasted. 1 Cor. x. 33. 2 Cor. i. 23. 

2 Cor. xi. 9. 2 Cor. xii. 13. Phili|m.iv. 17. 10—14. 1 Thes- 

salon, ii. 5, 6. 9. 2 Thessalon. iv. b, 9. 


Paul's love of Mone/s- worth in various shapes. Proofs of its 

being received or craved by him. 
§. I. Introduction. 
§. 2. Board and lodging received. 
§. 3. Services varvnu received or craved. 
§. 4. Valuable patronage exercised. 


Paul's love of power. Proofs of it. 
%. 1 . Introduction. 
§. 2. Inspiration asserted. 
§. 3. Power asserted. 

Topics suppressed: topics added. 379 

}. i. Obsequiottsnefls called for. 

§.5. Power exercised. 

§. 6. Obsequiousness thanked for. 


Concluding |)roof of the worldly advantageousness of Paul's 
occupation — the competitiim, of which, on his part, it was 
the subject, 


Against the Apostles was Paul's competition directed. Thk 
afurther proof of the worldliness of his inducements. 

Of two of the chapters which, in the Summary 
f^iew, were presented as belonging to the present 
work, — namely that which stood 1 1th, and that which 
stood 13th, — the matter has been either suppressed^ 
or placed under some other head or heads. In com* 
pensation, two chapters, which have since been penn- 
ed, — namely, the two which here stand 15th and 16th» 
— will here be found. 

To the work, as originally designed, was to have 
been added, an Appendix, so designated* with the ge- 
neral title of Paul's Inducements, and an explana- 
tion of it in the terms that will here be seen, divided, 
as will be seen, into six chapters. For the reasons 
already stated, the titles of those same chapters, to- 
gether with those of the sections respectively included 
in them, are here re-printed. Moreover, in Chapter IL 
an addition to the titles of the several sections is here 
seen. It consists of references, to the several pas- 
sages in Paul's Epistles, by the contemplation of which, 
those several titles had respectively been suggested : 
facility is thus all along aiforded to any reader, in 
whose eyes it may be worth his while, to form, in this 
or that instance, a judgment on the question, how 
far, by those several passages, a warrant is afforded, 
for the intimation, conveyed by the titles respectively 
attached. Another question, which may here, indeed. 

380 Appendix. 

naturally enough present itself, is — Why not afford the 
same facility in the instance of the several other sec- 
tions ? The answer is, that the more attentively the 
demonstration which, it is believed, has been given, of 
the worldliness of the self-constituted Apostle's mind, 
was contemplated, — the more doubtful it became, 
whether, in the eyes of the reader, the whole of this 
inquiry into the nature of his inducements might not 
be superfluous ? The view, given of his character, by 
the title to the sections of this second chapter, seemed 
to distinguish itself by its impressiveness ; and was on 
that account chosen for receiving the additional mat- 
ter just spoken of. To have applied the like additions 
to the other chapters, would have required an addi- 
tional quantity of time and labour, from which, under 
the above-mentioned doubts as to its usefulness, per- 
severance shrunk. 

Explanation relative to Chapter 11. ^. 5, intituled 
Sufferings boasted of. 

When, in the year 57» Paul, to so many other boast- 
ings, was adding the sufferings he would have us 
think were courted and endured by him, while preach- 
ing in the name of Jesus, that Gospel, which he pro- 
claims to have been his own, and not that of the Apo- 
stles, — ^little assuredly did he think, that five years 
after, or thereabout, from the hand of one of his 
own attendants, a narrative was to appear, in wliich^ 
of these samesufferings a so much shorter list would be 
given ; or that, by an odd enough coincidence,, more 
than seventeen centuries after, by a name-sake of his 
honoured patron. Doctor Gramaliel^ the contradiction 
thus given to him, would be held up to view. 

In the second of his Epistles to his Corinthians, 
dated A^ 57, — the following is the summary he gives 

Explanation as to Sufferings boasted of. 381 

of those same sufferings. Speaking of certain unnamed 
persons, styled by him false Apostles, but whom rea* 
sons are not wanting for believing to have been among 
the disciples of th?-Teal ones, — " Are they .'says he, 
(2 Cor. xi. 23 ) *' ministers of Christ ? (I speak as a 
*'fool) I am more: in labours more abundant: in 
^' stripes above measure : in prisons more frequent : 

•* in deaths, oft. 24. Of the Jews five times re- 

" ceived I forty stripes, save one. 25. Thrice was 

" I beaten with rods; once was I stoned: thrice I suf- 
^' fered shipwreck : a night and a day have I been in 
** the deep." Thus far as per Paul. 

Add from his former Epistle to the same in the 
same year, battle with beasts, one. " If, after the 
*' manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephe- 
•* sus, what advantageth it me," (continues he, 1 Cor. 
** XV. 32) ** if the dead rise not ? let us eat and drink, 
** for to-morrow we die." 

Let us now see how the account stands, as per Acts. 
On the part of this his panegyrist, whether any such ha- 
bit had place as that of cutting down below their real 
amount, either the sufferings or the actings of his 
hero, the reader will have judged. Of both together 
(let it not be forgotten) the Acts* account comes some 
five years lower, than the date of the above tragical 
list: in it are included those sufferings and perils 
which we have seen, namely, those produced by the 
voyage to Rome, and which, at the time of PauFs 
list, had not taken their commencement Now then 
for the Acts' list. Stripes, nine-and-thirty in a par- 
cel, none : difference, five. Beatings with rods, sav- 
ing one possible one, of which presently, none ; dif- 
ference, three. Stoning, one ^. Shipwreck, as yet 

* According to the Acts' account, this same stoning, if it was 
the same, was much in the style of that same resurrection of £uty- 
chos, which we have seen in Chapter xiii. §.10. As to Paul, when 
this martyrdom had been suffered by him^— '^ some " (says Acts xiv. 

382 A^fpendw. 

none: tbe aceidesit at Malta being thrae yean sub- 
sequent. *' Night and day in the deep,** — aceording as 
it u'as on or in the dee{H--either noUiing at all, or an 
adventure considerably too singular to have been pass- 
ed over. Diving'-beUs are not commonly supposed 
to have been, at that time of day, in use; but whoever 
has a taste for predictions, may, if it be agreeable to 
him, see those same scientific instruments or the equi- 
valent in this Gospel of PauFs predicted. 

As to the parcels of stripes, the self^constituted Apo- 
stle takes credit for, they would have been, — suppoung 
them administered,— -administered, all of them, ac- 
cording to law, meaning always tbe law of Moses : 
for, it is in that law, (namely in Deuteronomy xxv* 3) 
that the clause, limiting to nine-and-thirty, the num- 
ber to be given at a time, is to be found. Of these 
statements of PauKs, let it not pass unnoticed, tbe 
place is — a formal and studied Epistle, not an extern* 
pore speech : so that the falsehood in them, if any, 
was not less deliberate than the Temple perjury. 

Of all these same boasted bodily sufferings, eight 
in the whole, when put together,-^one was, at the out- 
set, reserved for consideration : let us see what light, 
if any, is cast upon it by the Acts. One beating, the 
Acts informs us of: and it was a beating by order ci 
magistrates : and accordingly, a beating according to 
law. But the law, according to which it was given, 
was not Jewish law: the magistrates, by whose order 
it was given, were not Jewish magistrates. The ma- 

19.) were ''supposing he had been dead :** and on that supposition, 
" drew him out of the city." Paul, on the other hand, thought 
Otherwise : he supposed himself alive, and, on that supposition, he 
walked oflf, as if nothing had been the matter with him. ^' Cer- 
" tain Jews. . . . (say verses 19 and 20) having stoned Paul, drew 
" him out of the ciiv, supposing he had been d^. Hpwbeit, as 
'^ the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into 
'' the city : and the next day he departed with BarnabM to Derbe. 

Explanation as to Sufferings boasted of. 383 

gbtrates were heathens : and it was for being Jews» 
and preaching in the Jewish style, that Paul, and his 
eompanion Silas, were thus visited. It was at Phi* 
lippi that the afiair happened : it was immediately pre- 
ceded by their adventure with the divineress, as per 
Chapter XIII.: and brought about by the resentment 
of her masters, to whose established business^ the in- 
novadon, introduced by these interlopers, had given 
disturbance : it was followed-*-*immediately followed-— 
by the earthquake, which was so dexterous in taking 
iroils off. Wheth^ therefore this beating was in Paul's 
account comprised in the eight stripings and beatings, 
seems not possible, humanly speaking, to know: not 
possible, unless so it be, that Paul, being the wander* 
mg Jew, we have sometimes heard of, is still alive,-— 
still upon the look-out, for that aerial voyage, which, 
with or without the expectation of an aerostatic ve* 
hicle, we have seen him so confident in the assurance 

* As to the dfffierence, if any, between the stripings and the 
beatings^ the Greek orig^al has been resorted to, but no very 
dear light has been obtained from it. As to the beatings, itaott 
OX rods are indeed sufficiently visible : the import of the substan- 
tive ha^hs, a rod, being sufficiently included in the verb sppa^ 
C9iAjfjy, as that of stave or rod would be in I was stav^, or / was 
rodded. Unfortunately, as to the stripings, which our translation 
speaks of, no such explicit elucidation has Paul himself afforded 
us. That there wei« certain things that he got by this part of the 
bargain, — ^thus much, it is true, he does inform us of. So likewise, 
what the number of these same things was : he got several parcels 
of Uiem, in each parcel, forty save one : and» of these same parcels, 
doubtless at different times, he got five. Thus much he does in- 
form us of: but, what iht articl^ each parcel consisted of were, 
ttiis he has not told us. Happily for this point of divinity, a very 
slight acquaintance, with the language of modern seamanship, has 
been sufficient to enable us to fill up the gap, without much daamr 
of error. In our days, a round dozen means that same number 
ik lashes, administered with a certain instrument: and the sane 
ellipsis was evidently enough employed by Paul, in his phrase of 

384 Apptndtx. 

Remains the battle with the beasts. What these 
same beasts were, how many there were of them, — 
how many legs they respectively had~for example, two 
or four — in what way he was introduced into their 
company, — whence his difference with them took its 
rise,^-whether it was of his own seeking, or by invita- 
tion that he entered the lists with these his antago- 
nists, — ^how it fared with them when the affair was 
over, — (for as to the hero himself, it does not appear 
that he was much the worse for it); — these, amongst 
other questions, might be worth answering, upon the 
supposition, that these antagonists of his were real 
beings and real beasts, and not of the same class as 
the arch-beast of his own begetting — ^Antichrist. But, 
the plain truth seems to be, that if ever he fought 
with beasts, it was in one of his visions : in which 
case, for proof of the occurrence, no visible mark of 
laceration could reasonably be demanded. Meantime^ 
to prove the negative, as far as, in a case such as this, 
it is in the nature of a negative to be proved, — ^we may, 
without much fear of the result, venture to call his 
ever-devoted scribe. To this same Ephesus, — not more 
than a twelvemonth or thereabouts, before the date of 
the Epistle — he brings his patron, — finds appropriate 
employment for him, — and, off and on, keeps him 
there for no inconsiderable length of time. There it is, 
that we have seen (Ch. XIII.) his handkerchiefs driving 

forty save one. This was no secret, to the right rererend authors 

of the Church of England translation of the Bible : they have ac> 

cordingly revealed to us those siripes, over which the etoquenceof 

the self-constituted Apostle had thrown a veil of hilenoe : and, 

for the information thus given to us, it cannot be denied, that, in 

Deuteronomy xxv. 3. they found a sufficient warrant. Between^the 

word forty and the word save, they have interpolated the word j 

Btripesi giv'mf notice of the interpolation, as their custom is» by [I 

printing the mterpolated word in italics: a custom, the honesty 

and prudence of which, is well entitled to this acknowledgement. 

To the Binder. 

Table II. This to face the last le 
The bottom of this to he flush m 
that of the book. 


seen are between Paid an 
w, is taken for the standard, 
ng but from hearsay ^ probab 



3. Corwetskn spoken of 

13. For ye have heard of m^ conve 

I time past in the Jews' religioii, he 

eyond measure I peraecuted the chi 

sack in tfic synagc^ues ef«ry 

. dav. 

- a I 




False Pretences employed. 401 

tainment on a certain pretence, is proved by direct 
ience — his own evidence : proof, of falsity in the 
:tence, rests, as it could not but rest, on ctrcumsian' 
I evidence. 

One observation more : for another piece of circuni- 
intial evidence has just presented itself: it consists 
the utter silence, about the receipt of the money or 
ly particle of it, — when, if there had been any such 
jceipt, occasions there were in such abundance for 
le mention of it. A° 67, in his first to his Corin- 
lians, — tLore it is, as we have seen, that he urges them 
lay by money for him, declaring it is for the saints 
.t Jerusalem ; and that on this same errand it is, that 
le is going to Macedonia, — and that in his way to Jeru- 
mlem he will give them another call, to receive, for that 
same purpose, the intermediate produce of these pro- 
posed saving-banks. In his letter to the Romans, writ- 
ten the next year, A° 58 — written atT Corinth, — then 
it is, that he has already made the said intended money- 
gathering visit, and with success : — with success not 
only ill Macedonia, as he had proposed, but in Achaia 
likewise : and, with this money in his hand, and for 
the purpose of delivering the money to those for whom 
he obtained it; — for this purpose (he says) it is, that he 
is at that moment on his way to Jerusalem — the place 
of their abode. This is in the year 58. Well then : 
after this it is, that he takes up his abode at Ephesus. 
And when, after his contests with the-church silver- 
smiths there, he departs from thence, whither does he 
betake himself ? To Jerusalem? No: he turns his back 
upon Jerusalem, and goes for Macedonia (Acts xx. 1 .) 
then into Greece, where he stays three months ; and 
purposes (Acts xx. 3.), to return through Macedo- 
nia. A° 60, it is, that, for the first time (Acts xx. 1 6.), 
any intention of his to visit Jerusalem is declared, he 
having coveted no man's silver or gold, as his histo- 
rian (Acts XX. 33.) makes him assure us. When, at 


402 Appaidljc. 

length he arrived there, what his reception was, we 
have seen. Had any of the money been recdred 
there, would such as we have seen have been the 
reception given to the man ? When, by the Chris* 
tians at Jerusalem, Agabus was sent to him, to keep 
him if possible from coming there, — is it in the nature 
of things, that they should have already received any 
of it, or been in any expectation of it ? In what 
passed between him and the Elders, headed by the 
Apostle James, is any the slightest allusion made to 
it ? When, in Caesarea, all in tears (Acts xxi, 12, 13.) 
his attendants were striving, mieht and msdn, to dis- 
suade him from going to Jerusalem,— did he say any 
thing about the money — the money he had been so 
long charged with ? Oh no ; not a syllable : to Je- 
rusalem he is resolved to go indeed : Oh yes : but 
not the shadow of a reason can he find for going there. 

When arrived at Jerusalem, the brethren, says the 
Acts (Acts XX. 17.) received him gladly. The bre- 
thren : yes, what adherents he had, would of course 
receive him gladly, or at least appear to do so. But 
the money ? On their side, was any thing said about 
the money ? Not a S3*llable. Either at this time by 
his own hand, or any time before, by other hands, 
had they received this money, or any considerable 
part of it, could they have received him other wie 
than not only gladly, but gratefully ? 

All the time, the hero was thus employed in money- 
craving and money-gathering, the historian (let it 
n^ver be out of mind) was of the party : four years 
before, A^ 53, had he been taken into it ; yet not any 
the least hint about these money-matters does he give. 
So far indeed as regarded what was avowedly for Paul*s 
own use, neither could the receipt nor the craving of 
the money frortS their customers, have been unknown to 
him; for this was what they had to live upon. But the 
Iet};ers his master wrote— rwrote to their customers 

Fake Pretences employed. 403 

everywhere — ^letters, in which the demand was made, 
for the 80 much more extensive purpose, — of these, so 
many of which have reached these our times, the con- 
tents may to him have easily enough remained a secret: 
little reason had he to expect, none at all to fear, the 
exposure, — which now, at the end of more than se- 
venteen centuries, has, at length, been made of them, 
—-confronted, as they may now be, with the particu- 
lars he himself has furnished us with. 


Printed by ILTatlok, 

Shoe-lane, London. 

Explanaiiofi as to Sufferings boasted of. 385 

out devils as well as diseases : there it is, and for no 
other reason than that he is there — there it is, that we 
have seen so many thousand pounds worth of magical 
books burnt — and by their owners : there it is, that 
with a single handkerchief of his,— which so it were but 
used, was an overmatch for we know not how many 
devils, — we saw a single devil, with no other hands than 
those of the man he lodged in, wounding and strip- 
ping to the skin no fewer than seven men at the same 
time. If, then, with or without a whole skin at the 
conclusion of it, he had really had any such rencoun- 
ter, with one knows not how many beasts, is it in the 
nature of the case, that this same historiographer of 
his, should have kept us ignorant of it ? To be shut 
up with wild beasts, until torn to pieces by them, was 
indeed one of the punishments, for which men were 
indebted to the ingenuity of the Roman lawyers: but, 
if any such sentence was really executed upon our self- 
constituted Apostle, his surviving it was a miracle too 
brilliant not to have been placed at the head of all his 
other miracles : at any rate, too extraordinary to have 
been passed by altogether without notice. The bio- 
grapher of Daniel was not thus negligent. 

After all, was it really matter of pure invention— 
this same battle ? or may it not, like so many of the 
quasi- miracles in the Acts, have had a more or less 
substantial foundation in fact ? The case may it not 
have been — that, while he was at Ephesus, somebody 
or other set a dog at him, as men will sometimes do 
at a troublesome beggar ? or that, whether with hand 
or tongue, some person, male or female, set upon him 
with a degree of vivacity, which, according to Paul's 
zoology, elucidated by Paul's eloquence, entitled him 
or her to a place in the order of beasts ? — ^Where dark- 
ness is thus visible, no light can be iso faint, as not to 
bring with it some title to indulgence. 

Of the accounts, given us by rtie historiographer, -of 
• 2 c 

386 Appendix. 

the exploits and experiences of his hero wlule at Epfae- 
sus, one article more will complete the list. When 
any such opportunity offered, as that of presenting him 
to view, in bis here assumed character, of a candidate 
for the honours of martyrdom, — was it or was it not in 
the character of the historiographer to let it pass unim- 
proved? To our judgment on this question, some 
further maturity may be given, by one more law-case, 
now to be brought to view. Under some such name 
as that of the Ephesian Diana^ not unfrequent are the 
allusions to it. Church of Diana stiversmUhs versus 
Paul and Co. is a name, by which, in an English law- 
report, it might with more strict propriety be desig- 
nated. Plaintiffs, silversmiths* company just named: 
Defendants, Paul and Co. ; to wit, said Paul, Alexander, 
Aristarchus, Alexander and others*. Action on the 
case for words: — the words, in tenor not reported : 
purport, importing injury in the way of trade. Out of 
the principal cause, we shall see growing a sort of 
eross cause : a case of assault, in which three of the 
defendants were, or might have been, plaintiffs: cause 
of action j assault, terminating in false imprisonment. 
In this exercetitious cause, defendants not indiTidu- 
ally specified: for, in those early days, note-taking had 
not arrived at the pitch of perfection, at which we see 
it at present. That which, — ^with reference to the ques* 
tion — ^as to the truth of the beast-fighting stor/, — is 
more particularly material in the two cases taben to* 
gether, — is this : in the situation, in which these junior 
partners of Paul found themselves, there waa some 
difficulty, not to say some danger. Pressed, aa Iw 
himself was afterwards, in his invasion of Jenisalem^ 
•—pressed in more senses than one, theif. found Ihrai- 
aelves by an accusing multitude. What on this oc«> 
casion does P&ul ? He slips his neck out of the col* 
■ ■ . I Ill i i ■■■ ■ I i 

Explanalum as to Sufferijigs boasted of. 387 

iar. So far from lending them a hand for their sup- 
port, he will not so much as lend them a syllable 
of his eloquence. Why ? because forsooth, says his 
historiographer, Acts xix. 30, 31, ^*the disciples 
•• differed him not : ** iteni, v. 30, " certain" others of 
"his friends/' When, as we have seen him, spite off 
every thing that could be said to him, he repaired to 
Jerusalem on his Invasion f^isii^ — he was not quite 
so perfectly under the government of his friends. On 
the present occasion, we shall find him sufficiently 
tractable. Was this a man to be an antagonist and 
overmatch for wild beasts ? 

Now as to the above-mentioned principal case. 
PlaintiiFs, dealers in silver goods : Defendants, dealers 
in words. To be rivals in trade, it is not necessary 
that men should deal exactly in the same articles: — the 
sale of the words injured the sale of the goods : so ai 
least the plaintiffs took upon them to aver : for, in 
such a case, suspicion is not apt to lie asleep. Thd 
church of Diana was the Established Church, of that 
place and time. To the honour, the plainti£b added 
the profit, of being silversmiths to that same Excellent 
Church. To the value of that sort of evidence, which 
it is the province of silversmiths to furnish, no esta^ 
blished church was ever insensible. The evidence, fur- 
nished by the church-silversmiths of these days, is com* 
posed of chalices: under the Pagan dispensation, the 
evidence furnished by the ehurch-silyersmiths of the 
church of the Ephesian Diana^ was composed of 
shrines. When, with that resurrection of his own, 
and that Gospel of his own, of which so copious a 
sample remains to us in his Epistles, — Paul, with or 
without the name of Jesus in his mouth, made his 
appearance in the market. Plaintiffs, as we have seen^ 
took the alarm. They proceeded, as the pious sons 
of an established church could not fail to proceed. 
Before action Commenced, to prepare the way for a 


3S8 Appendu, 

suitable judgment^ — they set to work, and set on fire 
the inflammable part of the public mind. The church 
was declared to be in danger (ver. 27-) : the church 
of Diana, just as the church of England and Ireland 
would be, should any such sacrilegious proposition be 
seriously made, as that of tearing out of her bosom 
any of those precious sinecures, of which her vitals 
are composed. In Ephesus, it is not stated, that, at 
that time, any society bearing the name of the P^ice 
Society y or the ConstilutionalAssociati&ii^ was on foot. 
But, of those pious institutions the equivalent could 
not be wanting. Accordingly, the charge of blasphemy^ 
it may be seen (ver. 37) was not left unemployed. 
So the defence shows : the defence, to wit, made by 
the probity and wisdom of the judge : for, by the vio- 
lence of the church mob, — who, but for him, were pre- 
pared to have given a precedent, to that which set Bir- 
mingham in flames, — the defendants were placed in the 
condition of prisoners : and the judge, seeing the vio- 
lence, of the prejudice they had to encounter, felt the 
necessity, of adding to the function of judge, that of 
(;ounsel for the prisoners. 

But it is time to turn to the text : not a particle of 
it can be spared. It forn^s the concluding part of 
Chapter 19th. 

ACTS six. 22—41. 

99. So he sent into Maredonk two of them that ministered tiato him, TS- 

motheufl and Enstus; but he himself »tayed in Asi*for*iieMon. S3. And 

the Mime thne, there arose no RUiall stir ^x>ut tliat way ;— ii»24. For a certaia 
nan named Demetrius, • silTersmith, whicn made aiWer ahrincs for Diana, 
bt ought no small gain unto the craftsmen ;— — 25. Whom he called together 
with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this 
craft we haTe our wealth.— —86. Moreover ye see and hear, that not akae 
at Ephesus, but almost throu|^hout ail Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and 
turned away much people, saying, that they be no gods, which are made with 
bandfi ; 2 7. So that not only this our cia5is in danger to be set at nought; 
but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despiaed, and 
ber magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world wonhip- 

peth. S8. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, 

and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the EpbcsianSi ^29. And the 

whole dty was filled with confusion : and haidng caught Gaiua and Anatar- 
chua, mim of 'Macedonia, Paul's companions in trave]« they nisbed with oot 

Explanation as to Svffering.^ boasted of. 389 

•ccord into the the theatre.-— *Sa And when Paul would have entered in, 

unto the people, the disciples suffered him noc ^31. And certa&n of the 

chief of Asia, whicli were his friendx, sent unto him, desiring him that be 

would not adventure himself into the theatre. 32. Some, therelbre, cri«l 

one thing, and some another : for the assembly was confused ; and the more 
part knew not wherefore they were come together, -s — 33. And they drew 
Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alex- 
ander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the 

people ; 34. But when they knew he was a Jew, all with one voice, about 

the space of two hours, cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. — — > 
35. Abd when the town-clerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of 
£pbesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the eity of the Ephe- 
sians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell 

down from Jupiter? 36. Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken 

against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. 37. For ye have 

brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet 
blas[^emers of your goddess.— 38. Wherefore, if Demetrius, and the crafts- 
men which are with him, haTea roaitcr against any man, the law is open, and 
there are deputies : let them implead one another.— 39. But if ye inquire 
any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful as- 
wmbly.-— «»40. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day*a 
uproar, there being no cause wherry we may give an account of this con- 
oourse. ■ 41. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly. 

Thet/tffl^^ by whom the pnncipal cause was tried, 
and the plaintiffs nonsuited, is st3'Ied, we see " the 
Town Clerk i^^ the more appropriate and respected 
title would not on this occasion have been ill-applied 
to him. Except what we have here been seeing, we 
know nothing of him that i,s postlive: but, seeiufj 
thus much of him, we see that he was an honest man: 
and an honest man is not ill po'irtrayed by negatives. 
He had no coronet playing before bis eyes : no over- 
paid places and sinecures for relatives. He had not 
been made judge, for publishing a liturgy of the church 
of Diana, with an embroidery composed of his own 
comments, — or for circulating, with anonymous deli- 
cacy, a pious warning, never to be absent from the 
shrine of Diana, when the sacred cup was proffered 
by the hands of holy priests. Accordingly, when the 
charge of blasphefny was brought before him, — being 
a heathen, he found no difficulty in treating it, in that 
gentle and^soothing mode, in which, when, from the 
bosom of an established church it enters into a man, 
the spirit, which calls itself the spirit of Christianity, 

3dO Appendix. 

renders iiim so averse to the treating it. If, when his 
robes were off, he spoke of Diana what we now think 
of her,/-he did not, when they were on, foam or rave, 
declare — that all, who would not swear to their belief 
in her, were not fit to be believed, or so much as fit 
to live. 

By him, one man was not robbed of his rights, be- 
cause another man, when called upon as a witness, 
refused to perjure himself. By him, a man was not 
refused to be heard as a witness, nor refused protection 
for the fruits of his industry, nor deprived of the 
guardianship of his children, because he waited to see 
Diana, before he declared himself a believer in her 
existence. In the open theatre was pronounced the 
judgment we have seen. He did not, by secret sittings, 
deprive men of the protection of the public eye. He 
did not, we may stand assured — ^for we see how far 
the people of Ephesus were from being tame enough 
to endure it — he did not keep men*s property in his 
hands, to be plundered by himself, his children, or his 
creatures, till the property was absorbed, and the pro- 
prietors sent broken-hearted to their graves. He did 
not — for the people of Ephesus would not have en- 
dured it — wring out of distress a princely income, on 
pretence of giving decisions, declaring all the while 
bis matchless incapacity for every thing but prating or 
raising doubts. He did not display, — he could not 
l^ave displayed — the people of Ephesus could not have 
endured it — any such effrontery, as, when a judicatory 
was to sit ifpon his conduct, to set himself down in 
i(, and assume and carry on the management af it 
He would not have sought impunity — for if be ^ad 
sought it in Ephesus, he would not have fdund it 
there — ^he would not have sought impunity, in eyes 
lifted up to heaven, or streaming with crocodile tears. 

Tlius much as to his negative merits. But, we have 
seen enough of hiu), to see one great positive one. 

£jpplanation as to Suffhring^ boasted of. 801 

When, from the inexhaustible source of inflammation, 
a flame was kindled, — ^he did not fan the flame, — ^he 
quenched it. 

The religion of Diana having thus come upon the 
carpet, a reflection which could not be put by, is — ^spite 
of all efforts of the church-silversmiths, in how many 
essential points, negative as they are, the religion of 
Diana had, on the ground of usefulness, the advantage 
of that, which is the religion of Paul, and is called ih^ 
religion of Jesus. Diana drove no men out of their 
senses, by pictures or preachments of never-ending tor- 
ments. On pretence of saving men from future suf- 
ferings, no men were consigned by it to present ones. 
No mischievous, no pain-producing, no real vice, was 
promoted by it. It compelled no perjury, no hypo- 
crisy : it rewarded none. It committed, it supported, 
it blessed, it lauded, no depredation, no oppression in 
any shape : it plundered no man of the fruits of his 
industry, under the name of tithes. For the enrich- 
ment of the sacred shrines, — money, in any quan- 
tity, we may venture to say, received : received, yes : 
but in no quantity extorted. One temple was suffi- 
cient for that goddess. Believing, or not believing in 
her divinity, — no men were compelled to pay money, 
for more temples, more priests, or more shrines. 

As to the religion of Jesus, true it is, that so long 
as it continued the religion of Jesus, all was good go- 
vernment, all was equalitv, all was harmony: free 
ehurdi, the whole; established church, none: mo- 
narchy, none ; constitution, democratical. Constitu- 
tive authority, the whole community: legislative, the 
Apostles of Jesus ; executive, the Commissioners of 
th€ Treasury: not Lords Commissioners, appointed 
hj a King Herod, but trustees or stewards ; for such 
should have been the word, and not deacons^ — agents 
tkoted by universal suffrage. In this felicitous state, 
how long it continued — we know not. What we do 

392 Appendix. 

know, is— that, in the fourth century, despotism took 
possession of it, and made an instrument of it. Be- 
coming established^ it became noxious, — ^preponde* 
rantly noxious. For, where established is tlie Mljunct 
to it, what does religion mean ? what but depreda- 
tion, corruption, oppression, hypocrisy ? depredation, 
corruption, oppression, hypocrisy — ^these four : with 
delusion, in all its forms and trappings, for support. 

So pregnant is this same boasting-passage— ( I Cor. 
XV. 32.) the labour it has thrown upon us, is not^alto- 
gether at an end. By what it says of the resurrection, 
the memory has been led back, to what we have seen 
on the same subject, in one of PauFs Epistles to his 
ThcMsalonians : brought together, the two doctrines 
present a contrast too curious, to be left unnoticed. 
Of the apparatus employed by him in his trade of ^• 
ciple-ctitcher^ his talk about the resurrection^ was, it 
may well be imagined, a capital article. Being, accord- 
ing to his own motto, all things to all men (1 G>r. ix. 
22.) whatever it happened to him to say on the sub- 
ject, was dished up^ of course, according to the taste 
of those he had to deal with. To some it was a pre^ 
diction : for such, we have seen, was the form it as- 
sumed when the people to be wrought upon were the 
Thessalonians. To others, when occasion called, it was 
a statement concerning something past^- or supposed 
to be past. On an occasion of this sort it was, that the 
name of Jesus, another article of that same apparatus, 
was of so much use to him. True it is, that to the doc- 
trine of the general resurrection in time future, he had, 
it must be remembered, no need of declaring himself 
beholden to Jesus: at least, if on this point, the Acts* 
history is to be believed : for, of the Pharisees, — ^the 
sect to which Paul belonged-— of the Pharisees, as 
compared with the other sect the Sadducees, it was 
the distinctive tenet. But, of the then future, the then 
past, as exempli iied in the particular case of Jesus, 

Explanation as to Sufferings boasted of. 393 

€ovild not but afTord very impressive circumstantial 
evidence. Of this momentous occurrence, there were 
the real Apostles, ready to give their accounts,— con- 
formable, it may be presumed^ to those we see given^*^ 
as from them, by the four Evangelists. These accounts, 
however, would not suit the purpose of the self-con- 
stituted Apostle: in the first place, because they came 
from the real Apostles, with whom, as we have so 
often seen, it was a declared principle with him not to 
have had any thing to do: in the next place, because 
the Apostles were too scrupulous: they would not have 
furnished him with witnesses enough. His own in« 
exhaustible fund — his own invention, — ^was therefore 
the fund, on this occasion, drawn upon : and, accord- 
ingly, instead of the number of witnesses, — ^^y a score 
or two at the utmost — he could have got from the Apo- 
stles, — it supplied him vnihjive hundred: five hun- 
dred, all at once: to which, if pressed, he could have 
added any other number of percipient witnesses what- 
soever, provided only that it was at different times 
they had been such. 

So much for explanation : now for the announced 
contrast. Whoever the people were, whom he had to 
address himself to,— they had contracted, he found, a 
bad habit : it was that of eating and drinking. Reason 
is but too apt to be seduced by, and enlisted in the 
service of her most dangerous enemy — Appetite. Not 
only did they eat and drink ; but they had found, as it 
seemed to them, reckon for so doing. They ate atni 
drank — why ? because they were to die after it. " Let 
'' us eat and drink,** said the language we have seen 
him reproaching them with, (1 Cor. xv. 32.) " Let us 
•* eat and drink, for to-morrow we die," 

The case is — that, in pleasure, in whatever shape 
they see her, — all men, to whose ambition snperna- 
tural terrors supply an instrument of dominion, be- 
hold their most formidable rival. Against such a rival. 

894 AppmMt. 

fronderful indeed it would be, if tbeir hostility ivere 
not proportionable. No morality accordingly do they 
acknowledge, that does not include, with or without 
other things, hatred, — ^with or without contempt, of 

Pleasure. Such, too, as is their morality, such is their 
iw. Death is scarce severe enough, for a pleasure, 
which they either have, or would be thought to have, 
no relish for. So at least says what they teach: 
but, teaching how to act is one thing ; acting accord- 
ingly, another. Thus we all see it is, in so many in« 
stances : and thus, without much danger of injustice, 
we may venture to suppose it may have been, in that 
of the self-constituted Apostle. 

Not so Jesus : no harm did he see in eating and 
drinking, unless with the pleasure it produced greater 
pain. With this reserve, no harm,— for any thing that 
appears in any one of the four histories we have of him, 
*---no harm did he see in any thing that gives pleasure. 
What every man knows- — and what Jesus knew as well 
as any man — for neither in words nor in acts did he 
deny it— is, — that happiness, at what time soever expe- 
rienced, — happiness, to be any thing, must be com- 
posed of pleasures : and, be the man who he may, of what 
It is tliat gives pleasure to him, he alone can be judge. 
But, to return to eating and drinking. Eating and 
drinking — he gives his men to understand-— ^eiven he, 
holy as he is, should not have had any objection to, 
bad it not been for this same resurrection of his, which 
he was telling them of: eating and drinkingi— a prac* 
ttce, to which, notwithstanding this resunreetion of 
his, and so much as he liad told them of it, he had die 
mortification to find them so much a<ldicted. So mneh 
for his Corinthians. It was, as we see, Jbr wmU of 
their paying, to what he was thus telling them ahont 
(he resurrection, that attention, to which it was so 
well entitled, — that ihey still kept on in that bad habit. 
But his Thessalonians — they too, as we hane seen, had 

Faise Pretences employed. 895 

got that same bad habit. Well: and what was it that 
gave it them? What but their paying too much atten- 
tion to this same resurrection of his, dished up in the 
same or another manner, by the same inventive and 
experienced h^nd. In conclusion, on laying the two 
cases together, what seems evident enough is — that, 
in whatever manner served up to them, his resurrec- 
tion, whatever it was, was considerably more effectual 
in making people eat and drink, than in weaning them 
from it. 

Explanation relative to Chap. 11. ^. 6. False Pre- 
tences employed. 

To the self-constituted Apostle, false p;retences were 
familiar. They were not — ^they could not have been 
— ^without an object. One object was power : this 
object, when pursued, is of itself abundantly sufficient 
to call forth such means. But, another object with 
Paul was money : of its being so, the passages referred 
to as above, will afford abundant proofs. A man, in 
whose composition the appetite for money, and the 
habit of using false pretences are conjoined, will bq 
still more likely to apply them to that productive pur- 
pose, than to any barren one. In the character of ^ 
general argument, the observations thus submitted, are 
not, it should seem, much exposed to controversy. 

But, of a particular instance, of money obtained by 
him on a false pretence, — namely, by the pretence of 
its being for the use of others, when his intention was. 
to convert it to his own use, — a mass of evidence we 
have, which presents itself as being in no slight degree 
probative. It is composed of two several declarations 
of his own,— with, as above referred to, the explanation 
of it, afforded by a body of circumstantial evidence, 
which has already been under review : and as, in the 

390 Appendijp. 

nature of the case, from an evildoer of this sort, evi* 
dence to a fact of this sort, cannot reasonably be ex- 
pected to be frequently observable, — the labour, em- 
ployed in bringing it here to view, will not, it is pre- 
sumed, be chargeable, with being employed altogether 
without fruit 

First, let us see a passage, in the first of his Epistles 
to his Corinthians^ date of it, A^bJ* In this, we shall 
see a regularly formed system of money-gathering : 
an extensive application of it to various and mutually 
distant countries, with indication given of particular 
times and places, in which it was his intention to pur- 
sue it: also, intimation, of a special charitable pur- 
pose, to which it was his professed intention to make 
application of the produce of it, at a place specified : 
namely, Jerusalem. 

First then comes, 1 Cor. xvi. J — 8, A° 57. 

" I . Now concerning the collection for the saints, 
'' as I have given order to the churches of Gaiatia, 

" even so do ye 2. Upon the ^rst day of the 

'• week^ let every one of you lay by him in store^ as 
*' God hath prospered him, that there be no gather- 

*' ings when I come. 3 And when I come, whom« 

" soever ye shall approve by your letters, them will 

" I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 

"4. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go 

•*with me. 5. Now I will come unto you when 

Vl shall pass through Macedonia; for I do pass 

" through Macedonia. 6. And it may be that 

" I will abide, yea and winter with you, that ye may 
" bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. . - 
"7. For I will not see you now by the way: but 
" I trust to tarry a while with you if the Lord permit. 

" 8, But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost:* 

at Ephesus, where he becomes an object of jealousy, 
as we have seen, to the church-Mlversmiths; and, from 

False Pretences employed, Z97 

his declared business at those other places, some evi- 
dence surely is afforded of what was bis probable bu« 
siness in that place. 

Next let us see a passage in his Epistle to his i2o- 
fhans: date of it, A°58. Here, in two instances, we 
shall see the success, with which this system was pur- 
sued by him : as also a maxim, laid down by him — a 
maxim, in which the existence of this same system, oa 
his part, is acknowledged: a maxim, in which his hopesi 
of success in the pursuit of it, are declaredly founded. 

Rom. XV, 24—28. A^ 58. 

** 24. Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, 
" I will come to you; for I trust to see you in my jour- 
" ney, and to be brought on my way thitherward by 
** you, if first I be somewhat filled with your com- 

" pany. 25. But now I go unto Jerusalem, to mi- 

** nister unto the Saints. 26. For it hath pleased 

** them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain 
•* contribution for the poor saints which are at JerU" 

** saleni. 27. It hath pleased them verily: and 

•' their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have 
" been made partakers of their spiritual things, their 
*^ duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 

** 28. When therefore I have performed this, and 

^' have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you 
" into Spain.^ 

In the instance in question, money (we see) — of 
the quantity of course nothing said — is mentioned by 
him, as being actually in his hands : the purpose, for 
which it was there, — and to which he would of course 
be understood to intend applying it, — being also men- 
tioned by him : — applying it, at Jerusalem, to the use 
pf the poor saints, tio much ioxprqfessed intentions. 
Now then for real ones. Answer, in his own words : 
that those Gentiles, who by him had been made 
partakers of his spiritual things, might, as. in '* dutu"^ 
bound, '* minister*' to him, so much the more ewc* 

308 Appendix. 

lively ** in carnal things :'* that he, who preached, what 
he called the Gospel, might, as he had been preach- 
ing to his Corinthians also (1 Cor. ix. 14) be enabled 
80 much the more comfortably to " live by'* it. 

'^ The poor saints which are at Jerusalem : ** — the 
poor saints — to wit, not here and there a saint or twu» 
bttt the whole Christian population living together on 
% common stock — ^if now, A^ 58, they were living, as 
A^ 53 they were (Acts ii. 44 ; vi. I ) and, in this par- 
ticular, from the beginning to the end of the history, 
no change is mentioned — in Jerusalem — was it in the 
nature of man, in that state of men and things, — ^was it 
in the nature of men and things, that any man, whd 
had any knowledge of their situation, and of the terms 
on which Paul, from first to last, had' been with them; 
could for a moment have thought of lodging, for theif 
uae, any the smallest sum of money in nis hands? ad 
well might it be said, at this moment — a man, whosd 
wish it was to convey money to Spain, for the use of 
the Cortes, would choose the hand of the Due d*An- 
gouleme to send it by. All this time, there were th^ 
Apostles of Jesus*-^patrons of those same saints: and, 
any where more easily than there^ could he be. That, 
with this money in his hands, among his objects was 
•<^the employing more or less of it in the endeavour td 
form a party there, may not unreasonably be supposed,' 
from what we have seen of that Iiwaswn f^tsit, by 
which his designs upon Jerusalem were endeavoured 
to be carried into efiect* For, according to Acts idx« 
21, already when he was at Ephesus, as above» was it 
hia known design, to try his fortune once iilore in Je-* 
rusalem, and c^r that in Rome. This mayhavd 
been among his designs, or not. Be this as it ntey, 
this would have been no more than a partietdar way^ 
of converting the money to his own ilse. 

Not that, if at this time, and for this purpGee from 
evea the quarters in ^cation, money had odnfle^ ai h» 

FaUe Pretences employed. 39§ 

says it had, there was any thin^ very wonderful in its 
so doing. A%\jous indeed, we know pretty well what 
sort of terms he was on, from first to last, with the 
community in question : we know this, because his 
historiographer has made us know ^t. But, as to the 
people of those same countries respectively, — at their 
distance from Jerusalem, what, in their situationi 
might easily enough happen was,— -not to have, as to 
this point, any adequate information till it was too 
late to profit by it: and, that such would be their igno- 
rance, is a matter, of which he might not less easily 
have that which, to a man of his daring and sanguine 
temper, would be a sufficient assurance. 

One thing there is, which, on the occasion of any 
view they took of this subject, may perhaps have con*- 
tributed to blind their eyes. This is — the fact; of 
hb having actually been concerned, in bringing money 
to Jerusalem, for a similar purpose, (though it must 
be confessed, not less than fourteen years before 
this) : to wit, from Antioch, as stated in Chapter V., 
speaking of that — his second Jerusalem Visit, by the 
name of the Money-bringing f^isii. 

But,- -what may easily enough have happened; 
distance in time and place, together considered, is 
•--tbat to those particulars, which composed no mora 
than the surface of the business, their knowledge was 
confined : while we, though at the distance of more 
than seventeen centuries, know more or less of the in- 
side of it, — let into it, as we have been, by the author 
of the Acts. 

As to their arriving sooner or later, at the suspicion,, 
or though it were the discovery, that the money had 
not,anypart of it, reached the hands it was intended for# 
nor was in any way to do so, — ^wbat bar could the ap«- 
prehension of anysueh result oppose, to the enterprise^ 
systematlcj as we see it was, of the creator of Anti« 

400 Appendix. 

christ? When, to a man, who occupies a certain situ- 
ation in the eye of the political world, calls for accounts 
are become troublesome, — Scipio might have inform- 
ed him, if he had not well enough known of himself, 
-how to answer them. 

When a charge made upon you is true-^evidence full 
against you, and none to qppose to it, — fly into a pas- 
sion, magnify your own excellence — magnify the de- 
pravity of your adversaries. This mode, of parrying a 
charge, is perfectly well understood in our days, nor 
could it have been much less well understood in Paul's 
days. As for his adversaries, Paul had a storm inpeilo 
at all times ready for them: for the materials,, turn to 
any page of his Epistles: whatever, in this way, he bad 
for rivals, — that and more he could not fail to have for 
accusing witnesses. To the creator of Antichrist — 
sower of tare^ between Pharisees and Sadducees, — 
whatever were the charges, defence, the most trium- 
phant, could never be wanting : arguments, suited 
with the utmost nicety, to the taste of judges. He 
would warn them, against false brethren, and liars, 
and wolves, and children of Satan, and so forth : he 
would talk to them, about life and death, and sin and 
righteousness, and faith and repentance, and thb 
world and that world, and the Lord and resurrection: 
he would talk backwards and forwards — give nonsense 
for mystery, and terror for instruction : he would con- 
tradict every body, and himself not less than any body; 
he would raise such a cloud of words, with here and 
there an ignis fatuus dancing in the smoke, — ^that the 
judges, confounded and bewildered,' would forget. all 
the evidence, and cry out Not Guilty through pure 

As to us, — the case being now before ua, what shall 
be our verdict ? Obtaining money on false pretences 
is the charge. Guilty shall we say, or not guilty ? 

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